Millennium Mom

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My first parent teacher conference

Last night I had the privilege of having my first parent-teacher conference. Arnie and I went to meet Ben's Kindergarten teacher at 6:20 (a big thanks to my neighbor Catherine who watched the kids, we are repaying today by watching hers). We sat down in the tiny chairs and had a wonderful conversation about how Ben is doing, getting to see some of his work and ask any questions about his development.

She is very happy with where he is at, as are we. We both asked questions and felt very informed and happy with what we heard. I say that this is a "privilege" because not everyone has the opportunity to speak to the children's teachers. In some countries there aren't even education systems. What a wonderful opportunity it is to have a 1-to-1 conversation with the person single-hand idly most responsible for your child's learning. This is a gift so we should all treat it as one.

I am sure they will get much tougher as time goes on, but for now it was a pleasant evening and fun to congratulate Ben when we got home and give him a "treat" for his great report card - a new book to read, so he can continue to develop his skills.

Finally, thankfully as a working parent, they did offer evening conferences. I know not all schools offer this, so hopefully your employer allows you the flexibility to go during the day as this is very important. If they don't, it may tell you something about how they think about families and work-life balance. It is these "subtle" hints that paint the most vivid picture about what a long-term career would be like, with regards to "balancing it all." Pay close attention and challenge the policies, you will not only benefit, but make the life of those coming behind you much easier. I would also challenge the school district to offer more flexible conference hours.


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