We are faced with state mandates, standardized tests, SLOs, RTI, data team meetings, professional development sessions, teacher evaluations, progress reports, parent teacher conferences and much more. Let’s be honest, we get busy and something has to give, right? We are laser focused on helping our students grow and succeed. We want them to be the best they can be. But, we must remember that we cannot forsake relationships with our students and their families in the midst of everything else that we’re expected to accomplish during the school year.
Next week, my teachers and I embark on a week of parent teacher conferences. This can be a stressful time for teachers as they prepare for 25 to 30 conferences with parents. However, it is important that we don’t lose sight of how important these meetings are to families and how crucial they can be for educators as we continue to build a bridge between school and home. As we move into conference week, I encourage us to remember:
- Relationships matter. It is so important to take the time to make sure parents know how much we appreciate all they do for their children.
- Kindness matters. If we have an issue to address, we must do so kindly and carefully; we’re talking about someone’s most precious gift-their child!
- Empathy matters. Remember that families have a lot of things going on that you probably don’t even know about.
- Don’t judge. Instead, give grace.
- Words matter. Choose your words wisely.
As the great Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”