Emily and I have almost completed the Kindergarten parent/teacher conferences. For me, it is exciting to sit down with each family and share his or her child’s portfolio, and the key areas of growth seen in social, emotional, and intellectual development as well as setting goals for the future.
Throughout the school year, I record student’s quotes, accounts, and their thinking so that I can share stories about what each child does in class. These heartwarming observations reassure parents that I do know and care deeply about their child and his or her interests. For every child (and adult) successes and challenges often lie closely together. Having a thoughtful conversation with families about these moments is immensely useful and precious. I also present a portfolio of their work samples and creations as evidence of their growth and learning.
Parents also have important perspectives to share with me about their child. They know their child’s personality, habits, and passions outside the classroom. They can also inform me of any changes that may be occurring within their family. And sometimes a parent has to be an advocate for their child who does not speak up for his or herself. These helpful insights connect their life with my teaching and help me incorporate each child’s diverse learning styles. There is great value in connecting the home and school environment to fully support the whole child.
Parent/teacher conferences can be very powerful. I view these conversations as a way to solidify a partnership and share the responsibility for the academic, social, and emotional growth of their child. I am a parent and a teacher, so I have been on the other side of the conference table as well. I know that it is helpful to go to a parent/teacher conference with an open mind, knowing that the teacher is not there to judge me as a parent but to work together with a common goal in mind.
Reflecting on the time spent with my families, and how each child progressed, it gives me assurance that I am positively impacting each child’s life. Teaching for me, is an emotionally rewarding experience, knowing that I have helped children learn new skills and thrive.
Kindergarten Lead Teacher