I knew it would be coming home any day on pastel green paper in all its wrinkled glory — the annual parent-teacher conference notice.
I didn’t have specific reason to be nervous. My son seems to be managing academically and he even has the same teacher as last year. But the mandatory meeting to discuss my child’s 6-week progress in a new grade level is enough to give me the “please talk to your son about appropriate classroom behavior” butterflies and “he’s struggling in math” jitters.
You’d think I’d be used to the parent-teacher tête–à–tête. I’ve been meeting teachers in empty classrooms for a combined total of 12 years now. Only once have I cried. Only twice have I considered transferring my child. Yet year after year, grade level after grade level, I cringe at the very mention of constructive criticism. [read more…]