AFTER 22 YEARS of going to parent-teacher conferences, my husband and I attended our final one last night. The youngest of our three children, who is eight years younger than our eldest, graduates from high school in three months.
And to think we almost missed this notable occasion because I had not flipped the calendar from February to March yet. An ad in Thursday’s local daily newspaper alerted me of that evening’s sessions at Faribault High School.
En route to school, I mentally planned the extra words I would scrawl onto my name tag: “After 22 years, this is our final conference!”
But alas, the school did not provide name tags for parents on this occasion. What a disappointment. Instead, I had to inform all four of our son’s teachers that they had the privilege of concluding our 22-year parent-teacher conference tenure.
It’s been a good ride. All three of our children have worked hard in school, done their best and been respectful. Teachers have always spoken highly of them.
So then you likely wonder why we have even bothered to attend conferences.
Simply put, we care. We are interested in the individuals who educate our children. We want to connect with them. We want them to know that we care.
We’ve gained insights into our children and learned about what they’re learning, because children/teens don’t always inform parents.
Parent-teacher conferences are a two-way process. We’ve always approached these meetings with the idea that we are there to glean information as much as to share it.
And now we’re done. Twenty-two years later. I’m not all misty-eyed and sad as one teacher suggested. But I’m not jumping for joy either.
I’m simply wondering how we got from crayons to calculus in the seeming blink of an eye.
IF YOU’RE A PARENT, have you attended parent-teacher conferences? What value do you find in them? How would you improve conferences if you think improvement is needed? Please share your thoughts and stories in a comment.
Likewise, if you’re a teacher, feel free to share your thoughts and insights.
© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling