*inspired by Kevin’s post
This week is a long one….we are in the midst of our spring parent-teacher conferences. We see almost all of our parents during this round, because our students are finishing our their tenure at our intermediate school. Come September, my students will move from the top of the food chain to the bottom, as new 7th graders at our township middle school. Because our students will be mixed in with 2 other intermediate schools from our town, many of their parents come to us with concerns about their placement and social skills.
Each evening, before the first conference, our team comes together to discuss each child we will be meeting with that night. As we switch classes, parents only meet with their child’s homeroom teacher. Meeting as a team allows us to discuss each child’s progress and any concerns we might have. The parents appreciate receiving a well-rounded look at their child, even if they can’t meet with each individual teacher.
This year, most of our students are doing very well. The parents are happy, the students are happy, and the teachers are even happier. Thus, our conferences have focused on the transition to middle school. It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of these conversations, as parents admit their fears and concerns. Usually, the fears and concerns are not related to their child, but instead focus on the parent. This is a big step- their child will be leaving the comfort of the elementary and intermediate schools. With that transition come a lot of trappings and traps of being a teenager. Suddenly, all the rumors and exaggerated stories passed down over the years come flooding back to the parents. Will their child be bullied? Will they have enough friends? Will the parents be able to handle this big step in their child’s life?
We have tears. Many, many times we have tears. But they are tears that fall over proud smiles. Their baby is growing up….middle school leads to high school. High school leads to college. It all seems to happen in a blink of an eye. And our conferences our the leaping point for many of these parents. We are lucky to be a part of such an special part of their lives.