After a 13 hour work day, I have finished day one of parent conferences. Today's schedule was jam packed with our "problem children," whose parents we specifically asked to join us to discuss behavior and academic concerns.
I am pleased to say that every single parent on the schedule actually came! That never happens! And... what's even better is that the parents were completely on our side. They thanked us profusely for helping (or "dealing with" according to one mom) their children and offered complete support at home.
The hardest part for me was watching a mother cry when she came to the realization that her son very likely has attentional issues that need to be dealt with outside of school. Her husband has tried to convince her of this for years, but it took our team conference (with the support of a translator and an assistant principal) for her to agree that now is the time to have him evaluated. I know this isn't easy for any parent to hear, but I am hopeful that this will be the missing piece of the puzzle... the piece that will help us (school and home) help him!
Although I will not be around to reap the rewards of tonight's conversations, I'm thankful that the school-home connection was strengthened today. I feel much better leaving these kids in another teacher's care knowing that their parents are aware of our concerns and working hard to support us at home.
I can't believe I'm actually saying this aloud, but I think tonight's conferences were productive. Hopefully tomorrow's will continue to be just as fruitful.