Today I had parent conferences all day. It’s always a little surprising to me how tired I am after a day of conferences. Conferences are not physically taxing, but I am aware that they take a lot out of me mentally.
For this reason (among others), I generally do not relish conference days. However, this time around I was really looking forward to several of my conferences because I am so pleased and proud of the growth that a number of my students have made since the fall. It it a rewarding feeling to share writing samples with parents that demonstrate significant progress and to see parents’ reactions of pride when they read their children’s work for the first time.
My wife and I also conferenced with our own children’s teachers today. It is enlightening to be on the other side of the desk from my children’s teachers, and I think it has made me a better teacher. Throughout the conferences with my children’s teachers, I find myself seeking reassurance while asserting my hopes for my children as I try to listen for new insights into the young person my child is becoming.
I’m not sure which side of the desk is more taxing or complicated. As I close out this exhausting day, I am reminded of what a privilege and great responsibility it is to work with young people as well as to parent my own children. And I’m grateful for the partnership that I find in both my students’ parents and my children’s teachers alike.