Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Parent Teacher Interview Season

It is that time once again...parent teacher interview season.  Last night my son and I went to Father Mercerdi School for this most important piece of the school year.  It started at 6 pm so after I impart a quick lesson in gentlemanly manners, we walk through the front doors at 6:03 pm.  We quickly make our way to the  back of the school to his classrooms...we have five teachers to talk to this evening and he is my guide.  I am a firm believer that whatever can be said to me about his school ethics and performance can be said in front of my child.  We are all in this, student and parents....for his academic success.  We need to support each other. 
The historically scripted story of how parents and school are to interact has changed over the years as we enter into a shared world within the educational fields.   A child’s primary education starts long before they enter the front doors of the school and I believe that it is through continuing active engagement and open communication that children’s educational success is secured. I believe that when school and home reach out to each other with genuine interest and support they can build a relationship fostered in mutual respect. Educational success does not happen on its own. It is only through continued engagement that we can move forward. By linking together we can help bring the wraparound services needed to help each individual student achieve their personal success.
I am there not because my son's marks are low or that he is struggling in any way that I can see.  He is a smart, capable young man.  I am there to connect to his teachers.....that they can put a face to Connor's mom....that I can let them know that I think they are doing a good job....give them my contact information in case things change so we can get to it offer my help if they ever need anything.... to be engaged in his education.  It bothered me more profoundly than I realized to hear in the hallway a parent talking to their child; " If you would only do better I could have stayed home tonight."  There is so much more happening this night. I believe it is important to have the home and school connection not only when the student is struggling, but when they are succeeding.
There is another side to parent teacher interviews that happens as well.....socializing.  As parents cool their heels in the hallways waiting to talk to their child's teacher we can catch up on things that are happening in each other's lives.  Granted it helps that there are cookies and water provided.  I talk to people that I have not had the chance to see in quite some time, chitty chat with parents that I have just met in the line-up, my son's friends and with random school staff.  Two hours after we walked through the front doors we head back home.  Even my son agrees that this has been time well-spent. On the way home I let him know how proud I am of him, how I liked seeing the photos he had a chance to show me from his option class, offered areas for improvement in LA..liked his story though about Zombies, and how important math is for his career choices later in life.  He smiles and says, "Thanx for coming to my school.  I liked that."  For a teenage boy, that's the most totally awesome statement ever.  

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