1) I was totally shocked this week in one of my conferences when a parent asked me to explain how to use addition and subtraction flashcards. I started to explain how she could play games with her son etc but she said "no, what does it mean?" I realized then that she didn't know the plus and minus signs. She said that she "didn't have too much schooling. " I had to teach her the plus and minus signs and then explain how to read simple equations like 4-1=3. She said that while she is working with her son she might learn something. That comment might seem like a positive one but sadly, I have not yet seen her follow through with anything school wise this year, not even the simplest handwriting homework. That was a depressing conference.
2) Some conferences were great. I have a lot of parents who really want to be involved. A different set of parents told me that they went to school in Mexico but only through 2nd grade. They said that they really want to help their daughter at home but are limited so would appreciate any help I could give them. I began by telling them that despite their formal education, they have provided the most academically nurturing environment for their daughter. She LOVES school and is thriving as one of my top students. They are doing a whole lot in the right direction for her. I also recommended the an after school homework club for their daughter in case she needs help that they can't give. Within 5 minutes of leaving my class they had enrolled her in the program. Now that is follow through!
3) One parent flat out refused to come. I wrote about this in a previous blog. My VP went to the house to do a home visit and review the conference material with the mom. My VP returned the signed paperwork to me today. I asked her who signed it and she told me that the mom did. I then let her know that the name on the paperwork was not the mom's name. When I spoke with my student about the situation he told me that mom was in bed and his mom's friend talked to the VP instead. The friend never told the VP that she wasn't the mom. The mom couldn't be bothered to get out of bed!!! Unbelievable!
4) My daughter was a great help during conferences. She took care of my students as well as their siblings when I spoke with the parents. She had kids from ages 2 - 12. She really came through for me. This year's conferences were the smoothest I have ever had and I think it is because I didn't have toddlers running through the room screaming! I handsomely rewarded her with cash for the school book fair.
5) I am all done with conferences...yay.