Friday, March 4, 2016

Meet the Parents

Earlier this week was our second round of parent-teacher conferences. The conferences earlier in the year tend to be busier than those held during the second half of the year; parents want to come meet the teachers,whom they don't know and tend to do so earlier in the year, although I did have some parents make a second visit today.

I wonder how much of a disservice we do our students/children when we panic because for the first time they don't have a perfect 4.0. I absolutely want my students to do their best as often as they're able, but I also want them to learn that it's not possible to do become an expert in everything they do throughout their lives; I want them to be able to handle doing poorly (however it is that's defined) and to know how to ask for help.

All the parents were lovely, polite, and respectful, even the lady who was distressed that her son doesn't have an A, potentially marring his heretofore unblemished G.P.A. Both she and her son were unhappy with the quiz grades being so low, but I explained that I want them to be able to remember details from previous chapters, because sometimes those details are insignificant, sometimes they aren't, and sometimes it's difficult to tell whether a detail is insignificant, if for no other reason than those details help us understand characterization.

On a side note, I continue to have outright unpleasant interactions with one particular student, which is a shame, because I really want to like him but he fights me at every turn and at this point just dislikes me enough to want to transfer out of my class. I'm not sure it will happen -and there's a whole lot I wish I could publicly share about him - but we'll see what happens, especially given that the end of the quarter is coming up.

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