Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Parent Teacher Meetings, In Vivo - Part Two

7:23 PM - Spoke with parents of about seven kids so far. It's an amazing zchut to be a part of people's lives. When i first started teaching (about twenty years ago) I was hesitant to give any kind of constructive criticism to parents regarding their children. I've learned a lesson over the years that applies to these meetings about students and to life at large: People appreciate concern and advice. You can express any idea you wish to if you do it kindly.

7:41 PM - A dear colleague and fellow blogger is sitting a table away. He came over to discuss blogging and to tell me about his newest site, and some things about his old site. Good stuff.

7:48 PM - Parent number eight just came by. It's nice to hear a student likes me, and speaks highly of my class.

8:04 PM - Parent number nine just visited.

8:07 PM - A colleague just walked to my table and said, "I hear you saying to parents that it was a pleasure talking to them. Do you really mean it (sic)?" Yes.

8:16 PM - Just told a mom that her son wins the mentschlichkeit award. I told her that even though his grades are very high his midot impress me even more. She is very proud, deservedly so.

8:50 PM - The total so far is fifteen. It has not been such a high number (the first conference had me meeting with parents of over seventy kids) and yet it has been a surprisingly steady flow.

I very much enjoy interfacing with parents, trying to be helpful. There are things I need to follow up on. To paraphrase Rabi Tarfon - the day (and night) is short and the work is great. My peers don't all feel the same way, but I came away from these meetings feeling energized. Parents are appreciative of my investment. At the end of the day (night) I like my job.

8:54 PM - It could happen, but I'd be surprised if I have any more conferences tonight.

Energy wanes
Hair that is brown turns to white
Another day ends


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