Wednesday

Parent Teacher Conference - A Litmus Test on Whether You are Doing a Good Job Parenting Your Child

What parent wants to sit in a room and listen to a teacher talk about his or her child especially if the son or daughter is the talker, the bully, the wild one, or the shy one?  Yet, we go to the parent teacher conference anyway only to find something in the conversation with the teacher we don't like.

We attempt to filter personality issues from the man or woman seated in front of us just doing his or her job.  Yet, we are well-aware of personal bias, discrimination, ignorance, teacher burn-out and a know-it-all mentality that some have.   But sometimes, the gut feeling kicks in and you suspect that there is more going on than the teacher cares to mention.  So you try to get to the bottom of things and before long, you wish you hadn't.  Now you find yourself talking about, "When I was a child and how I use to..." but the teacher looks at the clock, attention span gone, and on to the next parent.

Speaking of attention span, can I just say that the classroom atmosphere is busy.  With so much stuff to look at, no wonder kids are bouncing, looking around, and excited.  And what about these new programs, teaching strategies and the like, sounds like more stuff to stifle the creativity of our children and get them ready to be future employees of companies owned by the wealthy.  I don't envision that the big name companies will be out of business by the time our kids are grown--competition is none if all a child has is college debt and a delusional vision to be something that he or she was never properly prepared to be, but I digress.

The parent teacher conference, why bother?  I tell you, because someone needs to know that you are one of those parents that cares about your child come hell or high water!  Even though you hate the criticism and those little chairs you sit in even more, your presence speaks volumes.  You don't have to say too much about your kid at the conference just nod or shake your head since the teacher is use to having an audience sit back and observe--evaluate her/him.  Think about what your child might feel each day looking at this person and why he or she might rebel when it comes to receiving instruction from his or her teacher. 

Watch the teacher's mannerisms, examine the hand-picked worksheets he or she puts in front of you and look at the score sheet she has prepared--does any of it make sense?  Question it even if you don't have a clue what you are questioning. 

The issues will come up, "Jack talks too much...Annie plays with her hair...Bill interrupts and doesn't raise his hand...Penny likes to tease..." it sounds personal, doesn't it?  But you know your child and you can always ask the teacher, "Well what do you do when these issues arise?  I handle them at home, can't do much when they are in school." 

To all the parents, as tempting as it can be not to care what the teacher says or what your child does or to spread your hate for school, and your anger toward the teacher with 20 plus students, take a breath.  Do what you can in your setting and hope for the best!

Nicholl McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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