A surpising parent/teacher conference

Cody and Nick both had last Thursday off from school because it was conference day. As they’ve gotten older, the whole process has changed. There’s more student involvement and less from the teachers. Especially for Nick, who has several teachers who provide his education over the course of each day, it’s more to keep track of and stay on top of for us as his parents. It’s about trusting in him more since he’s now thirteen and should be able to handle the responsibility of juggling several classes, the homework, and any projects that are due. Or at least he should. There have certainly been some bumps so far far this school year. I’ve come to realize that just because I ask about homework and he says he doesn’t have any, that isn’t always the case. I’ve gone so far as to ask if I need to email each teacher to find out if he has work that needs to be done. He always says, with a slight roll of the eyes, No Mom! So I don’t because I want to trust and believe in him. He’s my son, that’s important. However, he’s also a teenager and his priorities get a little twisted at times, so I have to follow through.

Paul and I went to Cody’s conference first. Cody has an IEP so he has goals and objectives so a conference with his teacher is less formal and basically a way to touch base on how he’s doing overall, which happens to be great. His teacher is happy with the changes in him this year. Last year was his first at the high school so there was a lot of transitioning and getting used to a new schedule and teachers. He’s doing a great job engaging more with his peers and not complaining when he’s given his homework assignments. I’d like that one to carry over to home. There’s always room for improvement, but I’m pleased  and I’m grateful he has a teacher invested in his education.

Paul and I quickly drove home, I picked up Nick and Paul stayed at home with Cody. Mostly because Cody is a homebody,but also because Paul admitted he might not react well to hearing something upsetting about how Nick is doing so he thought it best if I go it alone with Nick. Off he and I went, rushing and late, which is often typical. *sigh* We only have about a five minute drive from home to his school, but I needed to ask just one question. I needed him to prepare me for anything I might hear that would make me unhappy. Remember, he’s had a bumpy time so far this year and I didn’t want to be blindsided when I arrived at the middle school to sit down with his homeroom/social studies teacher.

He assured me that I would not, but the look on his face told a different story. He didn’t look quite as sure as his lips were sounding, but I said okay and that I hoped that were true. Mom doesn’t like surprises, especially the not-so-good ones. We practically ran down the hall like two kids racing to beat the homeroom bell and were met with Mr. L and his smiling face. This is a good start.

We all sat down and he immediately through both hands in the air and said he couldn’t be more pleased with Nick. He went on and on and I tried to absorb every single word as he complimented my son and spoke so proudly of the student and citizen that he has transformed into since the prior year. I was honest, I told him that wasn’t what I expected to hear, but I was very pleased. I glanced to my left where Nick was sitting. I saw a grin that nearly brought tears to my eyes. Pride. His face was filled with it and so was my heart. If I had been thinking more clearly and more on my toes I would have pulled out my phone and taken a picture of that face, to freeze that moment. I love those kinds of moments.

Mr. L read us wonderful reports from each of Nick’s other teachers as well. He’s really doing well this year. While I don’t feel like we’re completely seeing the same child at home, we can work on that. Together. I’m so grateful for this teacher. I truly believe he cares about Nick and his education, that’s a really special trait in a teacher, I have memories of only a couple of similar teachers from my own childhood. I can praise him and make every attempt to boost his confidence and self esteem, but when it comes from someone else, like a teacher he respects and looks up to, it speaks volumes and seems to weigh more heavily. I’m okay with that, anyone willing to give my child a boost with positive comments is welcome to do so anytime.  Anyone. Anytime.


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