I recently attended parent/teacher conferences at my kids’ school. I went solo while my wife, KayEm, stayed home with the kids (they were off for a school holiday). Of course, she gave me a written list of questions to ask because she doesn’t trust my ability to gather appropriate information and convey it back to her. Too bad I “accidentally” forgot the list at home.
When I arrived at the school, I was glad to see that I wasn’t the only father attending the conferences. Dads were representing!
My first appointment was with my son, N’s kindergarten teacher, Mrs. R. I finally found her classroom after navigating a labyrinth of makeshift walls. My kids’ school subscribes to the concept of open-classrooms. Think of it as classroom cubicles.
I was unable to visit the classroom on the first day of school so I was glad to finally enter these hallowed halls of learning. Mrs. R. greeted me as I rounded the corner and we got right down to business.
“N is a precious child and a joy to have in my classroom,” said Mrs. R. “He is doing extremely well academically. In fact, he is far beyond where we expect students to be at this point in the school year.”
Her words were music to my ears. KayEm and I work hard to give our children a strong academic and moral foundation. I was glad to see that our efforts had paid off.
I thanked Mrs. R. for her time and headed to meet with Nee’s teachers, Mrs. S and Mrs. H. Since I was a little early for the conference, Mrs. H, Nee’s language arts and social studies teacher, encouraged me to write a letter to Nee. I jumped at the opportunity and wrote the following letter:
I’m so proud of you. You are doing a great job in school. Keep up the good work.
Cherish your school days. Learn all you can, have fun and always be respectful to you teachers and friends.
You are Daddy’s superstar!
When I finished writing the letter, I turned it in (I felt like I was in school) and sat down with Mrs. S to discuss Nee’s progress.
“Nee is a great student,” gushed Mrs. S. “She is so studious. I’m impressed by her ability to grasp the new concepts. And if she doesn’t understand something, she follows me around the classroom until I explain it to her.”
She showed me some of Nee’s work and a copy of her benchmarking test.
“Nee scored a 93,” said Mrs. S. “Most students don’t do this well on the test. Nee, not only scored high on the test, but she was also the only student who finished it in the allotted time.”
I was pleased to hear about Nee’s academic progress. KayEm and I were a little worried at the beginning of the school year because Nee was struggling with some the new math concepts and processes. KayEm and I had several conversations with Mrs. S prior to this conference to ensure that Nee was mastering the material. Apparently, our involvement made a difference.
The only real concern that I had was with Nee’s ability to relate to the other kids in class. She has always had a hard time making friends and her experiences with mean girls at her previous school have made her a bit hesitant to engage others.
“Nee plays with several girls on the playground,” Mrs. S assured me. “She has found a group of nice kids to hang around with. Don’t worry. She’s adjusting just fine.”
I left the Parent Teacher Conferences feeling great about my kids. They made me proud to be a dad.