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Parent-teacher conferences: Love ’em or hate ’em?

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Parent-teacher conference is this week at our school. My children could not be more different and I’m learning to adapt and recognize the talents each child has.

At our last conference, I learned 6-year-old Hadley’s talent is not listening and 4-year-old Bode’s does not involve his fine motor skills.

I admittedly braced myself when I met with Haddie’s first-grade teacher. She excels in the arts and natural sciences but when it comes to reading, she is finally catching up to her peers who were in full-day kindergarten. My husband Jamie isn’t exactly a stellar example. In his own words:

“I don’t have anything against books. I just don’t like reading them.”

But Haddie’s teacher wasn’t concerned about reading or the fact she is math-illiterate (she is allegedly on track with both). When it comes to multi-step instructions, my dear daughter gets a failing grade. In other words: listening.

Bode’s teachers love the little guy and who can blame them? He’s sweet, a great listener, well-behaved, is starting to read and beloved by his classmates. He is off-the-chart with math and while his peers are still learning to recognize single digits, he’s into double-digits and is constantly drilling me in my addition skills.

Confession: I count with my fingers behind my back.

I’m screwed when he graduates to multiplication tables.

The other night, their differences were on display as Haddie did her homework.

“I need to write the number 11. Hey, Bode. How do you write that number?”

“1 and 1,” he replied.

I looked over at her, dumbfounded. Had her preschooler brother really just helped her with her homework?

“Hey Mommy,” she continued. “I need to learn how to do things. You know, like a job to make money. All Bode and I know how to do is play.”

“I’m well aware of that, Hadley.”

“Yes, so we can learn how to do things like drive…and grow enormous pumpkins like Daddy.”

Something tells me I’ll never be an empty-nester.

What have been some of your more memorable parent-teacher conferences or report cards?

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  • comment avatar Candace James March 21, 2011

    Yep you’re in trouble! I half dread half love conference. My kids usually do pretty well academically but it’s the other areas they struggle. I personally really like the conferences because they tell me what’s really going on.

  • comment avatar Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck March 21, 2011

    LOL! Before Haddie’s first parent-teacher conference, we asked her what she *thought* her teacher was going to want to talk about. That is when the confessions started rolling in. Turned out her teacher didn’t talk about anything of that and, for the most part, only had good things to say. 🙂

  • comment avatar Melissa March 21, 2011

    “Something tells me I’ll never be an empty-nester.”- Amber you crack me up!

  • comment avatar Gretchen White March 21, 2011

    Ha ha ha! It’s a family legacy. You can’t escape.

    I have a love/hate thing with conferences, too. My biggest gripe is that with 5 kids in school, it takes almost 3 hours to get through them. By the last kid, I’m worn out from sitting in tiny chairs and nodding. Thankfully, the kids’ teachers work together to schedule them on the same day, back-to-back. While it makes for a long afternoon or evening, it’s nice to get them done in one shot.

    Also, even though I have great kiddos, I’m still nervous when a teacher starts talking about my darling little geniuses.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson March 21, 2011

    I can’t imagine five kids back-to-back! My most memorable parent-teacher conference was when my fourth grade teacher told my parents I had “verbal diarrhea.” 🙂

  • comment avatar Lori Lavender Luz March 21, 2011

    Wait. You really should write about your OWN children, not mine ;-).

    They are doppelgangers, those 4.

  • comment avatar Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck March 21, 2011


  • comment avatar Christine H March 21, 2011

    I like them–love hearing about my daughter, but I don’t get a Spring one. It was not necessary, which is, good, I guess.

  • comment avatar Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck March 21, 2011

    My daughter’s first grade class is doing a less formal parent-teacher conference this time. We signed up for a half-hour range, during which time our daughter will give us a tour around the classroom and show us all her projects on display. We’ll talk to the teacher for a few minutes but I like the idea that my daughter is leading it.

  • comment avatar Shelly M March 21, 2011

    It’s so important to get parents to meet their kids’ teachers, not only in gradeschool, but middleschool and highschool too.

  • comment avatar Sarah O March 22, 2011

    Hate them. Teachers always say good things about my kids followed by the inevitable “but”. I mean, I’ve gotten horrible teacher reviews from my daughter’s English teachers, yet somehow my deficient daughter managed to score an 800 on her Verbal SAT.

  • comment avatar Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck March 22, 2011

    Ugh, that must be frustrating. I’m definitely not at that stage with my young kids but you’ve given me something to look forward to. 🙂

  • comment avatar JoAnn March 22, 2011

    At this point, I love them. I’m so impressed with the notes and files the teachers keep on the kiddos at our Preschool. The feedback I’m getting is great. They always ask for goals we’d like them to focus on with her, and how well she’s meeting those goals, etc. It’s right up my alley. 🙂

    It will be interesting to see how things go from here on out!

  • comment avatar Suzanne (Crunchy Green Mom March 24, 2011

    Thank goodness when Kara went to college I could cross one of them off my list. I don’t have to meet her teachers!!

    Now with two in high school, two in elementary school and one on the way to it in August, I get to go to 1st grade conferences (we had one the other day for 2 HOURS!) I was pissy when I got out of there, 2 hours is ridiculous, OH.. and it was two hours with Dave, the ex-wife and her boyfriend. *blink* Yea.. it was a long 2 hours. They have another one to go to in a few week to “discuss” issues, I’ll be at work, I’ve never been happier to be at work. I can’t do another 2 hours listening to the same thing over and over.

    But in two weeks I have pre-school conferences. Hmmm.. never thought I’d have two of those a year, I am hoping they say nice things, last time it was that she’s too shy. I even asked the teacher if she had the right kid. Shy?? She’s pulling the wool over someone’s eyes.

    Gretchen, you are my hero! I did 3 in elementary school at one time, but never 5, I can’t imagine that! My cheeks would hurt from the smile and have whiplash from the nodding.

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