Friday, October 14, 2011
"Why they call you Mommy Renzen?" my son asked.
"They're calling me Mrs. Lorenzen because that's my last name," I said.
I had already had the guilty thought, I wonder if my boy wonders why I spend most of my days with all these other kids?
Even though I am a school psychologist, for now I explain that I am a teacher so that it can make more sense to him.
"All these kids have to call me Mrs. Lorenzen because I'm a teacher. But only one boy gets to call me Mommy," I say as I grab him and kiss his cheek.
We are playing on the playground where I work. It is sunset on the first day of parent teacher conferences. I had to bring my son to work that night because my husband was also working at parent teacher conferences and all of our babysitters are teachers as well.
I was worried about how it would go having my boy at my school for so long, but he had a blast. Other kids kicked a soccer ball with him, he was quiet playing in the corner of my meetings, and we played games together in my office that I usually play with students.
Ahhh, parent teacher conferences.
A stressful time for all.
I am so grateful to have the perspective of being a parent so that I can relate easier with those scary parent creatures.
Yet, parents usually think we (educators) are the scary creatures (some really are, but I won't name names and lose my job).
I will go to my first parent teacher conference next week on the other side of the table. The parent side.
And I know that what we, as parents, want to know is that someone really LIKES our child.
That someone is skilled and capable to teach them what they need to learn.
That even if discipline is needed, it is done with care.
We want every teacher to understand that, no matter our situation as parents, we send in the best of ourselves through those doors each day.
But enough of the sappy stuff. You wanna hear some eye-brow raisers from during parent teacher conferences?
-How about my own child yelling, "ROOOOAARRR!" right after requesting permission for a special education evaluation from a parent (Yeah, I know I said earlier he sat quietly during my meetings, but I lied. Don't all us parents lie? I guess "quiet" to me means that nothing ended in a big, giant, snotty fit.)
-Whatever you do, please wear a bra. With your too-big tank top. That's all I'll say.
-If a friendly school psychologist attends your meeting, don't assume it's for a bad reason. Especially if it's me. I'm very nice and fabulous. Nothing to worry about.
-When someone farts in a parent teacher conference, it is never a comfortable experience. And, no, it wasn't me. Maybe it was passive aggressive behavior by someone else, but it was not me.
I honestly have other examples but cannot figure out a way to tell about them without fear of consequence. I have to be careful what I publish about work-related things.
Tell me - When you go to parent teacher conferences as a parent, what do you want from the teacher?