Parent-Teacher Conferences were some of my favorite times as a teacher, which I know goes against what you may read or see on Social Media. I also mostly love them as a parent. Here’s why.
You entrust our teachers and staff to care for your child each and every day and in turn, we have promised to help you nurture and develop their spiritual, academic, social, and emotional needs. This is not a responsibility STM takes lightly; you have handed over your most precious gifts to us for the majority of their waking hours.
Before we were married, I explained to my now-husband that while it seems odd that I didn’t answer his emails or his phone calls during the day, it was not because I didn’t want to communicate with him or hear from him; it was simply because I was in meetings with children all day, with a little bit of time to eat lunch and a prep period that really was used to make sure all of the materials were ready for the next lesson, day, etc. The ability of teachers to offer face to face interactions to parents within contract hours is very limited!
Because so much of our day focuses on your child (as it should), Parent-Teacher Conferences are a great way to have that face-to-face time with your child’s teachers. The teachers cannot wait to share what they have learned about your child(ren) as a learner and also to hear from you about what is going well, answer questions you may have, and see how they can provide reasonable assistance to your family. Assessment information will be made available to you as well.
Conferences are meant to be for parents only; please do not bring your child(ren) unless you are specifically asked to do so. If your kids are anything like mine, they may quietly sit and read for a few minutes, but by the second conference, that will not work anymore. We want you to receive your full 15 minutes with each teacher so that the conference is beneficial for your family! If your conference is virtual, please find a quiet place where you can have time to meet as adults.
Some tips and tricks to prepare as a parent:
- Arrive on time! Just like the doctor’s office, a few minutes late becomes 30-40 minutes late by the end of the day!
- Write down your questions before you come to the conference so that you do not forget to ask them. In fact, if you give these questions to the teachers ahead of time and they may even have answers or documentation ready for you!
- Please be respectful of the time limits. There are 460+ children in the school building and all of them are important. If you find that your conference time was not long enough, you are always welcome to sign up for another time or request a different time with your teacher to continue that discussion.
- Bring a happy story with you! I even find myself forgetting to thank my child’s teacher and giving them the feedback of a funny moment or a joy/lightbulb moment that my child has shared with me at the dinner table.
The partnership between parents and teachers is immeasurable in the success and formation of your child(ren). Thank you for taking this opportunity to come together (in person or virtually) to strengthen that bond!