Saturday, February 19, 2011

Student Teaching Shenanigans: Parent Conferences

Yesterday I had school, but for the first time, the kids were not there! It was parent - teacher conference day, a day that I was not entirely sure what to think.  These conferences were not the typical conference that every student has, this was a conference day for those students who were having a tough time and are really struggling.  While I do not have a problem talking with adults or parents, it does get kind of nerve wracking when you do not know how a parent is going to react when you tell them that if their child does not show improvement by the end of the year, they may have to stay back in first grade, which may be the case with a couple of the students. I was very interested to see how Maria handled these situations.

We only had 5 conferences, four of which we needed a translator for because the parents spoke mostly or entirely Spanish.  Seeing the way the teacher, translator and parent worked was very interesting, it flowed a lot smoother than I thought it would.  Some of the parents brought their older children with them to assist in the comprehension because they have been in school and understood more English. Even a couple of our students came in with the parents and we had them read a book while we talked to the parents.

All of the conferences went fine, the parents seemed comfortable and asked questions when they had them. Maria offered ideas and ways that the parents can help the students at home to do better and some of the parents even talked to us about what the home life is like for the students and gave us things to watch out for in the classroom. They did not get upset or angry with the teacher, they just listened, which was very cool. I am glad I was able to see this dynamic of being a teacher, it made me feel more confident for when I have to start this. I really liked the open communication that I saw and I hope that I can make my classroom seem as friendly to my parents and students.

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