Conferences: Who should be saying thank you?
We had our final conferences of the year last week, and there is something I've started to do at them the last couple of years that I had never done before. And I should have been doing it all along.
There are some students who are an absolute pleasure to have in class. They are conscientious, they are polite, they always seem to have smiles on their faces, and they are often a very positive influence on other kids in their classes. I have one sophomore this year who is the youngest of four children. I have had them all, and every one of them has been like that. It seems pretty obvious that parents of kids like this must be doing something very right.
It is consistently the parents of kids like this who show up for conferences, and then at the end, they will frequently thank me for all I have done. They thank me? Shouldn't I be the one thanking them? I finally figured that out, and so now I thank those parents for having such great kids and trusting our school with them. Parents always look so surprised when I do that, but why should they be?
I don't think it's ever been harder to be a parent than it is today. There are a myriad of influences coming from our society that work against what any good parent wants for their kids. Yet, they manage to overcome all of it. And if my blog has proven anything the last few weeks, it's that good parents don't have to send their kids to public schools. There ARE other options. So if you teach in a public school, the next time you see parents of one of those great kids that make teaching so rewarding, remember who is the one who should be saying, "Thank you!"