It’s the time of year when parent-teacher interviews are occurring, and as a planning time teacher I still find it odd that I won’t be conducting any unless at the request of a parent as I don’t have a homeroom. This period was always an exciting albeit nervous experience for me and I imagine many of the parents and guardians I have spoken to over the years.

When I think of interviews, I think of the multiple conversations that have come out of that night that stick in my mind. I remember biting my tongue as some parents talked of goals that I thought were not necessarily unattainable, but perhaps not indicative of their child’s personality or talents. I fondly recall seeing ‘repeat customers’ and talking about how similar or different the younger sibling was and discussing the older child’s progress in middle school. I even had one interview where the parent asked me for bunny care tips as she found out I also had a rabbit!

It took me a few times, but I eventually got the idea to always begin with the same question. Something I thought was a perfect springboard to discussing the progress during the year:

“How is your child enjoying the class?” or “How do you like the class?”

So much of the report card is spent discussing grades, but to me the child’s happiness is paramount to their success. With this question, I am able to find out info around their rapport with me, concerns and home, or conflicts with peers. Then I try my best to work with the staff to make things work before they leave my class in June. It may be true that school isn’t the favourite for most kids, but given these uncertain times, asking for the child’s state of mind regarding coming into the building every day can point to a lot of reflection regarding the starting point for learning skills and general well-being.

Children were not really encouraged to attend interviews when I was in school, and I wonder as well what I might have said with my parents during my time. But I think a lot of teachers would be pleased to know that I am following in their footsteps.


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