Staying Involved

staying involved

One of our jobs as parents is to raise independent, productive members of society.

When they are small they are totally dependent on you. As they get older, slowly, that dependency decreases. Does that mean our job is over?

No Way!

Another part of parenting is making sure our children have an appropriate education and attending Parent-Teacher conferences is a great way to make sure that is happening.

Parent-Teacher conferences can be such a joy to attend when kids are young.

You walk in to the welcoming classroom adorned by bright and creative artwork. You are approached by the teacher who comes with a smile on their face and an outstretched hand. They show you a folder of your child’s accomplishments and you leave with a feeling of pride. Even if they say your child moves around too much or talks too much, they can still find positive things to say.

Fast forward to the secondary years. You move from teacher to teacher in a crowded gymnasium (or hallway) to see how your child is doing. Are they missing assignments, can they handle the course load? You leave feeling overwhelmed but optimistic that things will improve now that you have been given the tools needed for your child to succeed.

Many parents decide that conferences are not as important once kids reach the secondary years. However, what that student needs to see is that they have a support system. They need to see that they have parents and teachers who care about their education.

As they get older they may not want to attend conferences with you. So why should you bring the sullen grumpy teen that would rather be with their friends or watching Netflix?

  • It’s so valuable to see how your child speaks to an adult on their own behalf.
  • A teacher gains a different perspective by watching the parent / student dynamic.

But most of all…

You are empowering them by standing by their side and letting them lead the conversation. You are creating an advocate in your child by letting them make decisions in their education.

Thank you for being an involved parent and making the extra time to attend conferences with you child. They may not thank you today but it will leave a lasting impact on them.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

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In the past few days I have gone to conferences for 2/3 of my kids. Previously I had thought that it wasn’t as important to go to conferences after they leave Elementary school. But I’ve since changed my stance.

As a rookie high school parent I don’t know much about what goes on in the high school.  My only experience is as a high schooler myself which I have a hard time believing was so many years ago.

Does a high schooler still attend conferences?

Mine…. YES!  I want to see how the teacher and my child interact.

How do I know the questions to ask now that we have made the leap to high school?

I ask friends and co-workers who have been there.

My oldest child has been struggling in one of his classes. I went to that teacher first. We all decided that the class was not the class my son should be in and that we needed to see the counselor to get him out of there.

3 days later my child has been moved out of the class without incurring a penalty (they call it a penalty I call it an F) and hopefully its smooth sailing from here.

To this I say:

Be present, ask the questions. You are not the first parents in your situation. Trust your instincts.

Now on to the next conferences!