Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Conferences - Part Two

When I first started teaching, my day consisted of seven low-ability math classes. It was a challenge, but I was happy to have a teaching job. At that time, teachers who had been there the longest were given the "better" classes. But I actually found the General Math classes to be a lot of fun ... a lot of work, but fun, nonetheless.

I remember the first night we had conferences. It was really more like an open house, but conferences were a part of it. I stood in the hall, waiting to welcome parents to my room. I waited. I waited. I waited. I stood there two hours and not one parent showed. I remember the principal walking by and asking me how it was going while he looked around my room. I told him I getting pretty lonely. He said, "It's your clientele."

I laughed it off at the time, but over the years noticed there was a definite relationship between the ability of the students in the class and the number of parents who came to conferences. When I was finally given upper level classes, I was amazed that almost every parent came to discuss their child's progress. The other teachers used to say that it was always the parents you least needed to see who made it to every conference.

So I would say to all parents ... go to conferences. If you don't go, the child may get the message that school isn't that important. Worse, the child may think they aren't that important. It may also give the teacher the impression that your child's education is not a priority for you.

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