Monday, October 19, 2009

Parent-teacher conferences etc.

Today, Oct. 20, I am working from 6:55 AM to 7:30 PM. While I get off at 2:30 PM, I'm headed straight to parent-teacher conferences. I'll do the same thing Thursday.

I teach two sections of freshman English, so I expect to see at least 1/2 of those parents. There are two types of parents who usually attend conferences: the A student's parent who comes to say hi and hear how wonderful her child is, and the D & F student's parent who comes to find out what she can do to get Johnny back on track.

I love seeing both.

I have to admit, freshman year is hard. It's a transition from that sweet coddling of middle school to the harsh reality of high school--where every grade counts toward college admission. In middle school if you show effort you get a C. In high school, that's not the case. Write an F essay, get the F. In many subjects, there are no "redo's".

It sounds harsh, but then I think of how many times I've been rejected, or how many times any author is rejected, and we've given it our A effort. Kids oftentimes haven't learned what their A effort is. They're going to do the minimum of work they can get by with. That's why I make anyone who didn't get an A on an essay rewrite their paper. (I won't get into the point structure.)

More work for me to read them all again, sure, but at the same time, they have to learn. And writers learn by rewriting.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes.



Linda Henderson said...

Hope everything goes well for you.

Linda Warren said...

Good luck. On surviving. That's really a long day.

shelley galloway said...


My son had such a hard time in Freshman English. I went to that parent conference, ready to take notes and offer suggestions...when the teacher very politely told me our son would do a whole lot better if he just stayed awake. Gulp!

Turns out he had English right after lunch and took a nap during every class!

After that little embarrasing moment, his daily nap time ended!

Hope your conferences with those parents went all right.