Tag Archives: Student Conferences

Week 24: Student-Led Conferences

This week was filled with so many stories I cannot tell. Not just stories from the conferences, but stories from our half days of instruction. It seems many students had a little extra drama in their lives this week. Maybe it was Valentine’s Day, maybe it was just life.

I met 29 families to share data, classwork, progress. We meet four times in two years. This was our fourth, and last. More than anything, I was struck by the difference between the first conference, and this, the final. Only one parent was upset with me, and even that was fleeting. The rest were supportive, grateful, happy. One year, six months gives time for trust, time for change to be observed. Some parents cried in gratitude. My heart was touched.

So often I don’t feel like I’m doing a good enough job. There are so many things to keep track of, so many needs to meet academically, behaviorally, emotionally. Sometimes students show improvement in one area more than others, maybe just behaviorally, maybe just through calmer emotions. Sure, everyone learns, but often it does not feel like enough. I am hard on myself. I want to see growth across the board. I want all my time and energy to pay off exponentially.

It is hard to sit in front of a family and say I did not fix everything, I am not perfect, I tried my best. Of course, I do not actually say any of that, but it feels so obvious that there is always more to be done. This week I realized most families are grateful for what did change, where their child did grow. The tears and smiles and words of gratitude were my proof. This week wore me out, but it also reminded me that what I do really matters, not just to me, or my students, but to their families as well.

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