Friday, October 12, 2012
The Skinny on the School Conference
It was Christmas card picture time again. Thanks to our sweet (and patient!) photographer Elizabeth!
FYI... these are not her pictures, just the amateur shots I snapped on my phone.
As I walked the halls of the kindergarten corridor, I felt my chest tighten and my knuckles clench. I was about to experience one of my least favorite parental duties: attending the school conference.
I've learned from the past, that school conferences usually go one of three ways:
1) The teacher spews out honest (sometimes brutally honest) feedback.
Your son is the reason I needed to be medicated.
2) The teacher throws out "buzz" words with hidden meaning.
Your son is so spirited/energetic/busy.
3) The teacher gushes over a child's accolades.
Your son is the reason I became a teacher.
(Ok, I've heard the last option exists, never really experiencing it personally.)
I've certainly experienced enough of #1 and #2 to greet a school conference with as much excitement as a tooth extraction.
To make matters worse, this was Cooper's school conference. Cooper, my spirited/energetic/busy one!
I walked into the kindergarten classroom with my stomach in knots. The teacher fell into a smile and greeted me warmly. I wondered if she got me confused with Evan, Nicolas, or Parker's mom. I reminded her again that I was COOPER's mom and then waited for her reaction to turn sour. To my surprise, her smile remained and she ushered me into a seat. Things were starting out well. I exhaled just a tad.
Then the teacher pulled out charts and graphs with percentiles and figures that made little to no sense to me. Bottom line, he was cutting it in the academic world of a kindergartener.
Finally, she moved on to the report card. She glided her finger towards the behavior section. I took another deep breathe and waited for the other shoe to drop. She kept her same wide smile and said, "Cooper's doing....
"Fine," she repeated.
It was as if the heavens opened up and a choir belted out "Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah."
She finished out the conference by calling Cooper a "delightful young man." I checked my back to make sure a camera crew wasn't secretly filming our exchange and I was about to be on an episode of Punk'd. Quickly I realized she was serious and he was doing fine, just fine.
I waltzed out of the classroom on cloud nine thinking maybe school conferences weren't so bad.