I'm sitting in my classroom contemplating what I will share with parents at our first Parent/Teacher Conferences of the 2010-2011 school year. What do I want to tell them? What do I want them to know about the class? What do I want to show them? What do I want to tone of the conference to be? How do I want them to feel when they leave? The questions just keep coming. And I'm not sure I have any answers. So, I have to ask myself, as a parent, what would I want to hear from my kids' teachers? My response...complete honesty yet something encouraging as well. I think I can do that.
90 minutes later...
Now that I have a few conferences under my belt I can reflect on how they have gone. And my response is, "So far, so good." I have a very chatty group of 6th graders, each of whom has a unique set of abilities, and I am finding that as I look at them as individuals, my perception of them is changing. Maybe I'm handling them all wrong. Maybe I need to find a way to channel their energies, to corral them back to me, to engage them in a more effective way. Rather than trying to find ways to get my students to stop talking and start listening, I need to find different ways to engage them so that they WANT to listen. Maybe I'm the problem, not them.
I find it interesting that these few conferences have changed me instead of changing them? My new motto is "the only thing I can change is me." Reflecting in this manner is bringing to light different thoughts that may not have surfaced had I just gone home exhausted at the end of this long day. I can only change me. Hmmmm, thoughts to ponder.