I don’t know that I’ve ever headed into a Parent-Teacher conference without trepidation and a preceding night of poor sleep. I would dwell on how they would say he’s doing, what we might be able to work on for the rest of the year, whether they would feel comfortable being candid about their next recommendations. Whether he would have made as much progress as I’d hoped.
I would like to say that being the co-founder of the school my son is attending alleviated this entirely, but in some senses, I felt the stakes were even higher.
I felt reassured by what I had seen of his strides, both academically and socially, so the butterflies in my stomach were only maintaining a low roar as Greg and I sat down for The Conference. I had almost forgotten that they’d emailed out that Oscar would be part of the conference until he skipped through the door. Greeting him with a hug and pulling him onto my lap like a security blanket, I checked out the Conference Schedule Ms. Emily had just slid across the table toward us. I saw this:
1.) The student shares their strengths and goals
2.) The student shares the work in their portfolio
3.) The teachers share strengths and areas for growth for each subject
4.) As a team we will collaborate to create semester goals
1 academic goal
1 social goal
5.) Questions and Comments for Parents and Teachers
Then, Oscar led the way into a discussion of what he was doing really well and what was harder for him, which naturally led into him excitedly showing us what he’d been working on at school while the teachers talked to us about Oscar’s successes and challenges. Greg and I were able to share the insights we have into his behavior and cognitive perspectives and, as a team, we collaborated to build a larger understanding of how the world is currently working for him and what we can do to help move him forward.
As we wrapped up, we all talked about what we could target to work on for the remainder of the school year. I left elated and with a genuine sense of shared mission.
I write this to express my gratitude for the teachers’ care, preparation, and unique perspective. I also stand amazed at the innovative, supportive structure they have created and continue to craft at The Cloverleaf School.
I’m not an educator, but I sure am a huge fan of educators.