If You Teach And No One Learns, Did You Really Teach?
This past week, my school had parent-teacher conferences. It’s like Christmas four times a year…
Sidenote: When I said this aloud to one of my classes, one of my students said “Doesn’t that mean you have Christmas five times a year including Christmas?” I responded, “Nah, because it’s not exactly Christmas, but it’s like Christmas, though.” He scratched his head and got back to work. He might be right, though.
… Anyways, I love these conferences. Contrary to popular belief, I love the idea of meeting parents face-to-face instead of through the phone. I love that I leave my door open for rolling appointments with members of this community. I love the nervousness from students beforehand, and the incessant question “What are you going to tell my parents?”
“Well,” I’d say, “If you do what you need to do during … nevermind. I’m gonna tell them you’re failing!”
Well, OK, then.
I love the long-ish day, starting out with warm feedback, flaunting my Spanish skills, and listening as I get insight for how parents talk to their children. I do wince when children get in trouble, but I smile when parents of my more successful students say, “Yeah, but we still got a ways to go.” I see you. I love telling parents how I’m working with them and their students to make sure they’re learning because they need to hear that.
Even when it looks opaque, I like to leave on a positive note. Teaching is tough, but parenting is harrowing.
On Thursday, for example, a parent informed me that she heard through the grapevine that little to no learning was taking place in my classroom. I hadn’t heard anything like that in my 12 years of teaching, so my face must have contorted some. Plus, her student had just earned a 90 on his report card. Her son then explained that it came from a parent whose student If You Teach And No One Learns, Did You Really Teach? | The Jose Vilson: