Parent Teacher Conferences

I learn a lot about my children during parent teacher conferences.  In particular, the student led conferences — where our kids actually lead the conference.  I also learn a great deal about the men and women who spend 7-8 hours a day teaching and training our children.   Just having returned from my children’s conferences, I sat down to write something else on my blog and could not get the looks and appearance of the teachers (Mr. Peters, Mr. Smith and Mrs. Ziegler, all teachers in Birmingham schools) as each described and discussed our children and their impressions of each.  An impressive group — a difficult job.

I think about how adults complain about children/kids on planes, in theaters and in restaurants.  They’re too loud, some say.  They’re disrespectful, others say.   I recently led 20 kids on a field trip to the courthouse and understand how easy it is to be frustrated and exhausted by a group of children.  I did it for one day and was wiped out . . . these teachers do it everyday.  That is a difficult job.  They are an impressive group.  What impressed me the most was the way that they lovingly and with care looked upon my kids as they proudly told us what they each accomplished and did.  To see and experience others genuinely care about your children is extraordinary.  In this day and age of cynicism and “me-ism” it was both welcome and inspiring.

Mr. Peters sensitive approach to my son, Harley, was notable and heartwarming.    My son is sensitive and Mr. Peters struck the perfect tone to bring out the best in Harley.

Mr. Smith, the Ignite instructor, created an environment for my daughter, Aliya, to truly grow and develop.  The person that she has begun and that she is today is a far cry from the young kid that started in his classroom so unsure of herself.  When he said that she “can do anything”, he said it with a look on his face that would’ve convinced anyone.

Mrs. Ziegler, Jaden’s 1st grade teacher, looked at him with such care and pride during his conference.  As he continued to read and show off his accomplishments, she was clearly and sincerely proud of him.  Quite candidly, I cannot do her “concern” justice in this small space — it was so apparent.

I went to the conferences with the plan to study my children and to learn about their weaknesses and strengths.  I did that . . . but I also really spent time watching and listening to the teachers.  What a difficult job.   I thank them for being so caring.  So understanding.  So patient.  I hope that you take a minute to think about the impressive and inspiring people who are teaching our children.  I hope that you take a minute to thank them too.

Thank you.


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