Tonight was our late night parent teacher conference. I had 11 conferences between 3:20pm-8:00pm. Not much time in between each one, but just enough to reflect on my own conferences from when I was a child.
My parents were very involved with my school life. I was smart and I did well academically, and I was polite, respectful, and appropriate socially. But my dad wanted to make it known that things were to stay that way. Every year he would speak with my new teacher and tell them that if there was ever even the slightest issue with me then they were to call him “as soon as possible” (he knew my mom would go soft on me…even though I’m a total daddy’s girl)- he made the illusion that he and my teacher were all buddy-buddy (when I was younger, this worked. I was scared to get in trouble because I knew my parents would be upset. As I got older I was able to roll my eyes and smile because I knew he was only doing this because he wanted the best from me.).
I feel so lucky to have grown up with parents like him and my mom- parents who cared, truly cared, about how their child was doing in school in all aspects. They attended every.single.parent.teacher.conference. They attended every.single.night.that.ever.involved.parents.coming.in. My dad would even occasionally call my teachers throughout the year just to see how my day went. He’d stop in sometimes too. Back then it was kind of (really) annoying. But now I am so grateful to look back on those times- the times I went in to conferences with them and felt so proud sitting next to them while my teacher spoke highly of me. I felt happy when my teachers would tell my parents how well I do and how helpful and polite and respectful I am. I was proud; I made my parents proud. It felt so good to not only know that I was doing well, but to actually prove it, show it, and be praised for it in front of my parents- kind of like an “I told you so” – but in a really confident and respectful way.
Tonight, I had 1 student show up with the parents. The rest of the parents came alone. It made me think; next year I want to ask that the students come with their parents to conferences. I want the child to sit there with their parents/guardians while I tell them all of their strengths; and I want to present any weaknesses together. I want these children to know how much I adore them and how wonderful I think they truly are- I can tell them that on a regular basis, but I know how much it meant to me to hear it from my teacher while I saw between the two people who I wanted to please the most- my parents.