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Sunday, October 12, 2008

One way to make this week more exciting than the last...

I have conferences coming up, as I'm sure many of the other teachers do too.

Luckily, my first conference will be my absolute easiest.  This child is perfect in every way.  S/he always listens.  S/he participates not excessively, but often enough.  S/he is doing quite average in literacy and math.  S/he always wears a wonderful grin.  Some days, s/he ends up with too many stickers to fit on his/her shirt.  

I have interpreters for most of my conferences with families who speak no English.  However, there are a few that I think I'm going to need to do on my own.  I made sure to get interpreters for any tricky conferences though.

I have a few conferences that are going to be a challenge.  I was told by my AP to ask a series of questions to one mother, culminating in the question, "Have you discussed [you child's] difficulty with focusing on any one thing for any period of time with your doctor?"  This will be made especially tricky by the fact that I told the students to come along for the conference - I want to have it be a goal setting conference as well as showing the families what we have done so far this year.  I'm not sure what to do with the child when I am asking this question (and others) to the mother.  Should the student be there listening?  Should I tell the student to go look at a book for a minute while I talk to the parent?

The majority of the conferences will be fun (though a bit stressful).  My students are a wonderful bunch and I enjoy them all immensely - even those few boys (and the fact that it is all boys says something to me about my teaching, I think) who have recently been receiving way too many "red" days on their behavior charts.  Like I said when I was talking about the Family Subject Night, I truly do enjoy talking with parents/families.

So, this week will probably be even worse than last week, due to the conferences and the testing (which I failed to finish on time, so will continue throughout this week) and the insanity that is first grade.

I have to just keep telling myself that I can make it through the week.  I can make it through the week.  I can make it through the week.  And when Friday comes along, I will reward myself with the gift of pan dulce and going to sleep at 7:30.  (I live a sad, boring, wonderful life.)


Blogger Mrs. T said...

I would ask the student to step outside (or go read a book) for part of the conference. I agree that it's good to have the student there for goal-setting and to give positive feedback to the parent in front of the student, but there are some things you need to discuss with the parent, without the student.

Now, regarding the boys who have been receiving too many "red" days - it's not your teaching, it's BOYS. They're loud and squirrely and rambunctious. That's what they do. Boys and girls are wired differently; girls act - and act out - differently than boys. The way girls act out does not generally interfere with class, but the way boys act out does. You can blame the system, but don't blame yourself.

My elementary principal did point out that schools, especially elementary schools, are run mostly by females (yes, there are some male principals, but other than the PE coach, how many male teachers do you regularly see in elementary schools?) Females make up the rules according to the way our female brains are wired; the rules you have in your classroom are not that different from the rules in any other classroom or the general rules of the school (stay in your seat, don't be loud, keep your hands to yourself). There are some adjustments you can make in your classroom, but your hands are tied by tradition and your administration (i.e.: "the system").

10:36 PM  
Blogger Ms. Sigh Ants said...

I do not have any good advice for how to handle the situation with the student and the parent, particularly because I am used to dealing with older students, but I know that you will find a good way to handle it.

Good luck with your parent teacher conferences. I know they'll go swimmingly! :D

6:58 AM  
Blogger miss bioteacher said...

you WILL make it through the week!

...I'm feeling optimistic today - it WILL get better :o)

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Amber said...

I always let students go to my classroom library for a few minutes while the adults talk about 'sensitive' things. And (if they are able) they can read their favorite book to you & the parent at the end of the conference. That sounds a little terrifying but all my kiddos loved showing off how well they could do!

12:18 PM  

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