I guess I’m lucky because at my school, we don’t have very much parent-teacher interaction. Most of it is mediated through the front desk and the principal. Yet, sometimes it would save me much time if I could just explain to the parent right away. And, I think it would be good practice.
Today, I saw a lady sitting in the office and I smiled at her. She then beamed at me and nodded so I looked at her quizzically trying to place her. She greeted me by name, and I responded with a smile and a hello. She then introduced herself as Tutor’s mom (Tutor is a boy from the other class who comes into my class twice a week to help his best friend out in math. He’s a sweet, sweet boy, and I wrote him a rec for some after school programs). She shook my hand warmly and said that Tutor is really happy that I’m at our school – that I’m calm and gentle, and she thanked me for writing his rec and for being such a good teacher for him. I was super confused. “Did you mean Mr. —?” I queried. “No, no, you, Ms. Kim, you!”
I think I felt super warm fuzzies. Apart from a really sweet card from a rather introverted girl, and a hug from a teary mother who was leaving our school to move, I have never had a parent or a student ever thank me of their own accord (I don’t count the “thank yous” after the awkward parent meetings where I have to be present to present my case on why their child is failing or how their child has crazy discipline problems).
Then I laughed because honestly, the other 8th grade teacher is the calmest, most zen man I have ever met. I admire him so much, and yet I know, I will *never* be him. He told me he used to lose his temper a lot when he began teaching, but I don’t believe him! So to be described as “gentle” and “calm”… Well, I’m thankful that he said positive things about me when he didn’t have to, and that his mother said those things when she didn’t have to either.