I went to two Parent Teacher Conferences in the past month. And both were totally different experiences with two totally different tales. The first tale was that I was actually kind of excited to go to Christian’s conferences which happened a few weeks ago. He’s in Jr. High this year, and so at conferences, I got to meet all of the different teachers that I’ve heard him talk about. The meetings were five minutes each and were mostly pretty predictable. Christian has always been a strong student and has also always excelled academically. When you’re in Jr. High, there’s this thing called a Parent Portal where you can see all of your child’s grades as the teacher records them throughout the quarter so I already knew he was doing well. Still, it was nice to meet his teachers and nice to hear the overall good things that they had to share about our son.
The second tale, was that Ellee’s conference was today. And before I went into it, I couldn’t help but be nervous as to what to expect. You see, our sweet Ellee girl has always struggled with school. It’s harder for her and she’s always had to work much harder as well. As she’s gotten older, and school has gotten more difficult, it’s been challenging for her and for us as we’ve navigated in search of finding the best ways to help her learn.
My main goal going in, was not to cry at the conference. Because if I’m being honest, it’s been hard for me hearing how hard school is for our daughter. I was anxious at what her teachers would tell me and worried about what her grades might reflect. So I did my best to be pro-active. I went to Hot Yoga this morning, to destress and to sweat out my worries. I prayed for our daughter, but also for myself that I would remember that the most important things about our girl don’t always show up in percentages and grades. Then I put on my warmest winter coat and walked over to the school in freezing cold wind that just showed up today. I slowly walked down the hall, trying to warm the feeling back into my hands and I braced myself for whatever the next fifteen minutes would hold.
I walked into her classroom, filled with her three class teachers as well as her reading teacher and I took a nervous breath and then slowly let it out.
And what happened next, was just so unexpectedly wonderful.
Right away, her main teacher started off by telling me what a wonderful and hardworking girl our daughter was. She said how sweet and well-liked she was and how she got along well with everyone. She told me many positive things that she and the other teachers had noticed about our daughter. She also told me that they all loved having her in the class and it was just so good to hear so many things about our wonderful Ellee.
I shared my concerns and was met with genuine and well thought-out answers as well as pro-active suggestions. I got to share in their joy of the progress that Ellee has made so far this year, both in the classroom and with her reading group. As I looked from face to face, and listened to their words, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness for these incredible teachers and for the ways that they showed love and support for our daughter. And at the end of the conference, I walked out with hope for our daughter and joy in knowing that because of the wonderful teachers that she has and the support that she gets through her school, she really will be just fine.
We have two different children who have two completely different academic experiences. But I’m learning that even though they are different, they are also both good. I cannot express how thankful I am for the wonderful staff and teachers at our daughter’s school. It means so much to know that Ellee is being well taught and well cared for as she continues to learn and grow and thrive in so many different ways.