As you know, this afternoon we have our first parent-teacher conferences of the year. We hold these conferences twice each year, at the conclusion of the first and third quarters. I hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to come to campus and speak to your child’s teachers face to face, and I’m writing now with some suggestions about how your conversations with the teachers can be most productive.
The partnership between parent and teacher is such an important one, and in our short time as a school, it has become very clear that nothing contributes more to the academic success of a child then a productive partnership between you and the teachers. Please use your time today to strengthen this partnership, and to communicate together about the most important things. Remember that your child’s teacher is always available by email, but that these opportunities to speak in person without distraction are few and far between. Please use these conferences to discuss things that cannot be settled over email and save conversations about the minutiae for a less personal setting.
It is tempting to use this time to discuss just your child’s behavior at school, and although these discussions are important, we won’t make the best of the conference time if we confine our discussions to behavior. Remember that your teachers and your school are not here merely to ensure that your child is polite–we want your child to learn! Or, in other words, the mission of our school is not to make sure that your student sits properly in his chair, or raises her hand before speaking. We are working together to provide each student with a liberal education–an education that is good for its own sake–and although a good behavior is necessary for that end, we are aiming for much higher things than that. If you and your child’s teacher need to talk about your student’s behavior today, this is an excellent time to do so, but please remember that a discussion about your child’s academic success, and especially your child’s attitude toward learning, is the most important part of a successful parent-teacher conference.
We are looking forward to seeing you this afternoon, and speaking together about the ways to best continue our work with you. It’s been a wonderful quarter, and we are looking forward to making this third year our best one yet. It continues to be a delight to know and educate your students.