Once upon a time, long ago when I was teaching Gen Ed English a parent came to me very upset and stressed out. Her son was doing well in my class, but not in any of his other classes. Her concern was he wanted to participate with some on campus activity, but would not be eligible with his current grades. I don’t remember talking much during this impromptu after school conference, I mostly listened. I remember sitting there for quite some time. We were in the main office, sitting on a couch across from the receptionist. The conversation drifted around to other children she had and what she was going through with them, some other stuff about her family, I even think pets were somehow mentioned. Eventually the conversation ended, she thanked me for my time and off she went, feeling calm and in a better spot than when she came in. After she left, I could hear giggling. It was the receptionist and another secretary in the main office. Why did I let her go on and on, they asked. My response was that’s just how I am. If people need to talk, I will listen.
It was almost 5 o’clock 😀
In another situation I was working with a student, very high functioning with Asperger’s. She was a handful. Mother left the father and he was raising her on his own. Thankfully the IEP was early in the year and I had a chance to meet with him early on. Also at the IEP was the girl’s therapist. I don’t recall the specific griefs the therapist had with the father, or what was the rift with the father and the theparist was. It did seem one sided in that the therapist was having some problem with the father and the father felt the therapist didn’t like or respect him. After the meeting I asked the father how long had he been “working” with the therapist to help his daughter. Almost a year he told me, she was assigned the previous year. I told him he could request another therapist. That was news to him; he had no idea, no one told him. He immediately asked and his daughter was quickly assigned a new therapist. Immediate improvements began. The girl went from an angry, want to fight (literally) with everybody everyday to a content smiling “I can function in this world” girl. Bless that father and the new therapist 😀
Really, I am easy to work with. You have a concern, come to me. We’ll figure it out
I was very impressed a few weeks ago with a new parent who came to me to compliment me on the work I was doing with a group her daughter is in. She shared kind comments her daughter had made to her about me. That was very thoughtful of that parent. Easy to see one of the reasons her child is one of the best persons I have ever met. After the first competition of the year that same mom gave me a high five on the bus, the kids did really well
Gotta love the high fives from parents! 😀
All has not gone well with me and parents, to say the least.
Very first class I had was designated for students with emotional disturbance. It was clear why a particular child had been placed in that class. The mother would make a pot of strong coffee anxious. I don’t remember specifics but half of our meetings would be about her. I was too young at the time and maybe this happened, but I should have strongly suggested to my site psychologist that we get that mother a counselor. It seemed as though any progress I made with her child would be undone later and I would start over with her child the next day, trying to help her with her issues again, and hopefully also teach her some academics. I did not work hard enough to help that parent.
The school across the street from where I live constantly has youth soccer/flag football/softball/baseball activity throughout the year. It is interesting to see the range of parent involvement or lack of in some cases. Not judging; I am sure some of those parents are single, have other children with other commitments, working more than one job, whatever, other time commitments; but it sure is great to see the parents that sick around and cheer their kids on from the sidelines. The parents that puzzle me are the ones that sit in their cars for the entire practice. Yeah that happens.
It is interesting. I think the more parents are involved with their child’s school academics or activities, the better. I know other educators who have the complete opposite view. Neither of us are right; just opinions. I know there are the crazy parents out there too, but gotta love them too. It takes all kinds, right?! 😀
I am of the belief the more of us working together for common good, the better. Is that crazy or what?! 😀