I admit that I had butterflies on my drive to Kate’s preschool. This was my first ever parent-teacher conference, and another badge I’d be earning in my 5-year long motherhood career.
I entered through the glass doors of the sanctuary and made my way to the second floor. I was a few minutes early, so I took a seat in the hallway outside Mrs. P’s designated conference room. I sent a couple texts to Twitter, checked email on my semi-smart phone, then impatiently waited for my turn.
Finally the door opened and the mom with the time slot before me, walked out. I hopped out of my chair, entered the conference room and was met with a big smile from Mrs. P.
It was so silly of me to be nervous about this parent-teacher conference thing because I always get such positive comments about Kate and her behavior. Though at the same time, sitting across the desk from my child’s teacher seemed too weird to actually be happening.
Closing the door, Mrs. P began our meeting with, “Can you just leave Kate here with me next year?”
My nerves immediately faded away.
I have loved Mrs. P from the get-go. She’s a fabulous teacher and, in my opinion, goes above and beyond what is expected of her. Her counterpart, Mrs. A, is great, too, and Kate holds a special place in her tiny heart for both of them.
The good news is Mrs. P sees no concerns whatsoever for Kate beginning kindergarten this fall. Kate gets along great with her classmates, really enjoys learning and strives to get things right. Mrs. P even noted that Kate is a bit of a perfectionist, which is something we’ve always known about her.
I didn’t escape the meeting completely unscathed, however. Mrs. P dropped quite a bombshell on me while telling me a story that involved Kate and another boy in her class. About halfway through her story, she casually mentions something about Kate and this other boy reading books to their class.
Excuse me – what now?
Kate? …read a story to her class?
She READ a STORY? …to.her.class?!
Read a story?!?!
I had NO idea.
I realize I’m not the first mom in the history of parent-teacher conferences to be shocked by something a teacher had to say. As I sat there processing this news, I couldn’t help but visualize Kate sitting in a chair, reading aloud to her classmates who were seated on the circle mat in front of her.
I felt the need to explain to Mrs. P, “I’m sorry I didn’t know. We work on sight words and sounding out words at home, but she never told me anything about reading an entire book to her classmates. We always ask her what she did while she was at school, too.”
What can I say? I felt kinda guilty that I had zero knowledge of this huge achievement.
A few minutes later the conference concluded. I headed back down the stairs and over to her classroom to pick her up. Stephanie, Kate’s music teacher and my mom-friend, was standing in the doorway as I walked up. Kate ran to me, arms outstretched, excitedly yelling, “Mommyyyyyyy!” When she let go and stepped back, I looked down at her and questioned, “So I hear you have been reading books to your class?”
She stared back.
I looked back up at Stephanie, shaking my head. “This is why I had no idea she was reading entire books. The kid comes home telling me all about her latest art project and who got in trouble on the playground. But reading a book? Isn’t newsworthy, apparently.”
With that I gathered up her things, and the Super Secret Reader and I left to go pick-up Maddie.
Have you had to sit through parent-teacher conferences for your kids? Were you nervous at all? Have any teachers who are reading this seen parents surprised by what you had to say about their kid?