An email from our amazing counselor today…
I never thought I’d feel more vulnerable than being a teacher in a parent-teacher conference until my son started kindergarten.
As the teacher, I set the tone for the meeting: warm, always with chocolate, and open – we sat in chairs without a gigantic, imposing desk between us. I wanted my parents to feel safe. I wanted them to know that, whatever the data showed, their children were loved, they were respected, and we would share the growth mindset philosophy of “yet” when we weren’t seeing the progress all parents hope to see.
As a mom, though, sitting across the kidney table from Mrs. Bott (S’s Kinder teacher), all the confidence I had as a teacher went out the window: I did not set the tone of the meeting. I did not choose the chairs, I was not the expert in the room.
Even as an educator, I walked into that classroom somewhat uneasy. We were talking about my child. I had to give in to my vulnerability and ask questions. In that moment, I knew what it meant to be truly unguarded.
And while there was no chocolate at this meeting, Mrs. Bott and I had a fantastic conversation that eased my tensions and calmed my fears. She made a space for me to be vulnerable without fear of judgment.
When we give our parents a safe space to learn how do this parenting thing alongside us, we give them hope that they are a part of a team that is growing their child.
I am so happy to work with such talented, committed educators who make this space for parents (and for me!). You are the wind beneath your students’ wings. 😉
Insert cheesy inspirational music here….
I’ve spoken often about the need to balance your leadership teams with strengths that support your weaknesses. We had the chance this year to add a counselor to our team, and I tell ya…I thank my lucky stars each day that this young lady was available when we had that opening. Hiring is one of the MOST important aspects of our admin world, and when you have the chance…find you a rockstar like our Mrs. Halpin. She sends a daily email, with a timely message…and with tonight being our “late” night for parent conferences, this one resonated with us all.
May all of your parent exchanges be vulnerable, be open, and be positively productive.