What To REALLY Expect Wednesday
Everything that REALLY happens when you're a mom.....the stuff the books, Dr's and even your friends didn't tell you would happen or how to deal w/it!
It's that time of year again! The time when you unzip that backpack, pull out the old interim report and feel the lump that was previously in your throat drop right down into your gut....you know the feeling, you know what caused it.....parent teacher conferences!!!! Aaagghhh!
Never fear, mommies of the world, I, not only have had to attend multiple conferences throughout the years as "Ben's mom", but I had to conduct them for 11 years as "Miss Kate". It's a lot easier to give the conference than to receive the news from the teacher. It's very difficult as parents to first, give your babies to some strange woman (no matter what her credentials are or how long she's been doing this, bottom line, she's not me), but then sit there and listen to her point out things that "need improvement" or how your child's "below district standards", has a hard time listening or following directions, can't sit still, bothers peers, or whatever, you get the picture. You have to nod your head and act like you don't want to jump across the table like a mother panther attacking her foe for messing with the cubs!
Trust me, I've been there time after time. In fact, this is the first year I don't have to go in for a mandatory conference. You have to just remember (while biting your tongue), that this "woman" spends more hours during the week with your child than you, in most cases. That she IS totally and in most cases, over qualified to not only teach, but to provide emotional support to your child in times of need and most importantly, she loves those children like they are her own. At night, she not only is taking care of her own family, but she's still thinking about yours. When she's reading to her little boy, she's thinking about the little boys in class who's parents are not around to read to him or the little girl who probably won't get another meal until breakfast. Examples like those are the reasons teachers deserve a bit of a break from us parents.
Tips To Have A Smooth, Understandable, PRODUCTIVE Conference:
I have jotted down a few things to remember when going in for your conferences this year. Bottom line is that not only do you want your child to succeed, but so does their teacher. She has devoted her life to enriching the lives of youngsters the same ways you have done all the things you've done to ensure your child has the best home-life as well. Working together is the key to any successful academic career.
1. Ask questions - If your unsure of something or have questions about a particular area or subject, ask! Write any questions down or do a Richnote on your smartphone, that way, you'll be fully prepared when it's GO time. No matter how irrelevant you feel the questions may be, ask them anyways - the only stupid questions are the ones that are never asked!
2. Volunteer - This can be somewhat tricky if you're a working mom, but CAN be done. Ask your child's teacher if there are things that you can do for her during the evenings from your home. Many teachers (myself included) recruit working moms to do busy work that consumes valuable teaching time but, in the same breath, is pretty easy to get done - cutting papers, stapling assignments, covering tattered books, sending emails, helping w/bulletin boards, sharpening pencils, etc. If you're lucky enough to stay at home, collaborate w/the teacher and plan a day to go into the classroom (if your child's school allows it, some do, some don't, check w/your principal or teacher if your unsure of the rules for volunteering).
3. Providing Details of "Home Life" - This doesn't mean go in there and tell your life story. It means if, for instance in my situation, my dad's been sick, my family's been under the stress of caring for him and preparing for the worst and the children, at times, may have heard some pretty grown-up convo's. Maybe that explains why Ben is talking about death during circle time (see where I'm going w/this?). If there's even been the teeniest, tiniest change, let your child's teacher know. Kids pick up on things pretty quickly and it affects them too. Fighting w/your spouse can cause children's behavior at school to be negative, moving, house guests, ANYTHING really! Giving a head's-up can help the teacher help your child get through whatever may be troubling them, without getting into trouble and the teacher being clueless on why the behaviors are happening.
4. Breathe!!! - It's not the end of the world, kids will be kids, some days will be better than others, teacher's know that and they're not all talking about what a horrible parent you are and how your child's the spawn of Satan.......OK, well, maybe just a little bit.....after a really hard day.....lol, no, but y'all should be excited to share all that your child's accomplishing in school and if there IS a problem in a certain subject or personal development area, it's best to get to the root of it now before it escalates into something that can't be fixed with a simple conference. I guarantee the teacher feels the same way!
5. HUGS!!! - Finally, when you get home from the conference, no matter what was discussed, make sure to give your young scholars plenty of encouraging words and lots and lots of hugs!!!! Let them know just how proud you are of them and their studies. Tell them the teacher and you discussed their behavior & self control as well as their academics and that the three (No, I didn't forget you dad's out there) of you are all working together to make sure that no child is left behind socially, emotionally, developmentally and academically.
I swear by these tips and encourage you, if you haven't yet been invited to, sit down and discuss your child's schooling with his/her teacher. Request a conference if your school doesn't do mandatory one's during the 1st-2nd quarters. Being involved in and with your child's academics will give them confidence. Encouraging them to keep doing well after they bring home good grades can keep the self esteem sky-high. Knowing how involved you are could potentially deter them from behaving badly - they'll be more aware that you and the teacher DO communicate and will want that communication to be positive. Have a great meeting and a great year!! Hope that this helps you with What To REALLY Expect at Parent-Teacher Conferences!
Do any of you have any Parent-Teacher Conference disaster/horror stories to share? Email or leave a comment below and tell us how YOU have dealt with mean teachers, bullies, or (do I DARE say it.....realized your perfect angel isn't so perfect and is hardly an angel)? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for updates on the blog and to view some of my adventures in pictures! Until next time, ladies.....
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The place where today's busy, modern mom goes for advice served up with a smile and a side of sunshine: http://katiesadventuresinmothernood.blogspot.com
Peace, Love & Light,
**sorry, I didn't include any pics in this post. I love adding pics but was at a class/meeting this morning and didn't have time to sort though pics pertaining to the subject of the post