School Open Houses

Everyone is back into school and settled in, right? Have you had your school’s Open House or Curriculum Night yet…or whatever else it might be called? This is the night to hear the plan for the year, to hear from your child’s teacher, to find out what might be expected from your little darlings…this is different from conferences when parents get to discuss progress in academics and citizenship with their children’s teachers. Open Houses can be so helpful in beginning a satisfactory, successful year for your kids. I hope you can remember to attend with an open mind. So many times the neighborhood ‘rumor mills’ decide who the good and bad teachers are…don’t you feel you should be able to make your own assessment after interaction with the teacher personally? I hope you will give it a try.


Newsletters, whether printed or online, are an important source of information to keep you up-to-date with what may be going on in the classrooms. Calendars, assignments, notices of upcoming events and necessary paperwork are included to help you prepare for what your child may be bringing home.


If you want to speak with the teacher about something you feel is important before conferences arrive, please try email first. Teachers usually read and respond quicker than having to find the time to answer a phone call or schedule a meeting. When you do send that email out, remember that the teacher can’t see your facial expressions or read your mood, but they can see the speed with which you share your concern. Do you take the time to reread what you have written? Would you say the same things in person with others around you? Have you considered all sides to the question? Are you angry??   Please put the email aside for an hour before hitting that send button…sometimes just breathing will give you a totally different perspective on the issue, and if not, at least you will have given yourself the chance to cool down.


Most parents are lovely sponsors for their children, and their children will become lovely role models themselves. Others might be able to use some simple reminders of civility. If this post seems negative in any way, I’m only sharing advice after teaching for 41 years. I hope what you see is someone trying to help!


Happy Parenting!

D and C

parent/teacher conferences

    Are you nervous, afraid, anxious, worried, angry, or calm, cool, and collected about seeing your child’s teacher and hearing a progress report on both academics and citizenship in the classroom?

Prepare just a little, ahead of time, and you may join the calm, collected group!
     Step 1: Make a list of the things you want to remember to discuss.
     Step 2: Compose yourself into a calm, receptive adult who can listen attentively before becoming defensive.
     Step 3: Please! Assume that the teacher just may be correct about your child’s grades and/or behavior.
     Step 4: Ask positive questions about how you can help at home. Keep your interactions totally about your child’s actions.
     Step 5: If you are going to request that weekly progress reports be sent to you by email–ask instead if the teacher will reply to  emails from you requesting those reports. Most teachers will gladly reply to an email, but find it difficult due to the number of students they have to remember which child needs a report and how often to send it.
     Step 6: Be positive about the conference when you speak to your child about it. Remind them that small changes can bring great rewards in their school work or behavior.
     Step 7: Remember that a behavior report is often more important than an academic one. Kids’ behavior and study habits, including manners and responsibility, lead to success or disaster in the classroom and in their future.

Enjoy your conferences. Enjoy your kids!

Happy Parenting,
D and C