Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 17 2008

Parent Conference Night – LIVE

Yes, you read that right. I’m live blogging my parent conference night. I thought there might be some fireworks, since parents can be a little crazy.

1:15 PM

Conferences start at 1:30 and last until 4. Then we have a break until 6 and conference with parents until 8. It is going to be a looooong day.

1:56 PM

I have seen three parents so far. It’s so fun to give the good news. I love being able to say things like, “you did an impressive job raising your son/daughter.” Their faces light up and I can see the pride beaming. As a parent, they need to hear those things. All three of my meetings so far have been cordial and positive. It’s been pretty easy and kind of fun.

2:30 PM

I just had a parent come in here who was PISSED. She wasn’t very happy about her kid getting a D in our writing class, but I had nothing ot do with it. I have been expected angry parents all term, so I have been prepared. I have kept good reocrds and brought everything with me just in case. I was able to bust out his records and she was impressed. She was still pretty pissed, but at least I avoided a yelling match. And those do happen. I’ve seen it and it’s not pretty.

2:58 PM

A kid’s sister just came in place of his parents. She was 15 – ha. It was kind of awkward, but fun. I got to get some dirt on her little brother at the same time. So funny.

4:00 PM

Break time – a few teachers and I are going to CPK for dinner and then back for the last part of the night. I should have worn sweat pants.

6:05 PM

I’m back and ready to go. The CEO bought us snack packs with chocolat and cookies, so I’m fueled up. I’m actually having a lot of fun at these things – I feel like such a genuine teacher these days. I remember going to conferences with my parents. It was always fun because they always had good news. I guess that’s a luxury for me since I was a pretty good and academically advanced kid. It musk suck if you’re not, cause these poor kids (who are good kids, by the way) have to hear the same things from all their teachers. In an effort to ease the pain, I always make sure to give them my confidence, saying things like, “You can do this,” or “I’m not going to let you get a C again,” or “You are smart, you really are.” A lot of the time, though, they don’t give me a look of belief. They just look defeated. But I meant it what I say, and if they only knew that, things might be different.

7:23 PM

My voice is cracking – I can’t talk this much!

7:45 PM

15 minutes left – no angry parents so far…I did have a conversation about race with one of the parents. Their kid always gives me attitude whenever I talk about slavery or Africa. I know a lot of it has to do with my whiteness, so I decided to bring it up to her parent. She was understanding (thank god) and told her she didn’t care if I was purple. I hope she talks to her and things get better….cause the Civil War is in January and slavery is topic #1.

7:57 PM

Packing up now. We talked to about 50 parents tonight without a scratch. I thought things might be more interesting, but I had some good insights along the way. Hope you enjoyed – this was a big night for me. My first report cards! I am sooooo a teacher!

- Jeff

One Response

  1. selica

    Jeff you are such a teacher. I love it.

    Come home soon.

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a Teach For America teacher’s blog

Greater Philadelphia
Middle School
Social Studies

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