Reflections on PTC

Another long marathon day, also known as Parent Teacher Conferences is behind me. While growing more confident as a teacher makes me more confident about talking with parents, I suspect the experience will never be easy. Part of the pressure stems from the fact that many of these conversations are the first prolonged interactions I'm having with parents since October. It's not exactly easy distilling four months of learning into a 5-10 minute conversation. Still, overall I think I've gotten the hang of opening with a positive, giving a realistic assessment of the student's performance and listing a few suggestions for help at home.

That said, there are a few questions I still don't know how to answer for parents or myself. For example:
  • Why isn't The Silent Treatment talking (at all) after six months in my class? What can her mom, who speaks no English, do to help?
  • How blunt is too blunt? Where do I draw the line between honesty and brutal honesty?
  • What do I do if I feel a parent is blatantly lying (e.g. she never behaves this way at home)?
  • How can I get my parents involved more frequently in the classroom? Is the language barrier an obstacle we can overcome together?
I'll mull these questions over some more. And see if I can come up with any answers. Hopefully I do, and soon. Your advice is always welcome in the comments.


Cheeseboy said…
I have the same issues at PT conferences. I want to be blunt, but I don't want to shatter whatever confidence the kid does have.

I have a Spanish translator at my conferences too and sometimes I look and the parent is smiling. I look at the translator and think - you did just tell them that the kid is struggling to read, right? But generally, the translators do a good job.

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