A well-oiled machine: the art of the productive parent conference

Everybody loves it when things work the way they are suppose to.  Granted it doesn’t happen that often in any aspects of our lives, but when they do, it’s bliss.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit in on a group conference with a parent and a team of teachers that all had a myriad of concerns for a student.

This was not my first conference rodeo. I’ve seen parent-teacher conferences in just about every way known to man.  Some of them are amazing; some I cringed; most are typically just “eh”.  The one I sat in on – AMAZING.

It was the first time I got to see the team I assembled really work in full sync.  Granted all are working well as is, but I never got to see them in action. It was a tough conference to have; a student, who is having some issues, also has some major home issues. There was no plan of attack, or pre-game strategy.  Everyone just down, introduced each other, and it was like a whitewater raft ride.  Some parts were serene; other’s were intense, but the takeaway was incredibly worth it.

I always said as a teacher that you know you hit home with a parent when you see tears. Some come five minutes into a conference; others come in 50; some never come. A group setting can be rather intimidating, but the Mom held her ground.  About 45 minutes in, tears were acknowledged. The lead-up to tears wasn’t a barrage of negativity, finger-pointing, or excuse generating.  It was a fluent conversation, and the teachers controlled it like a well-managed game of volleyball, just going back and forth all around, and a powerful (yet polite) spike would hit. It was just THAT GOOD.

I really do love my staff and am appreciative of them. I know they don’t hear it that much ( I need to do more than food and a cheesy joke), but after such a fantastic meeting, I don’t even know how to follow it up.

Rock on, LAC.


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