Day 19 – the payoff is nice

The payoff is nice … conferences were last week.  Most were easy, praising students’ hard work, doing their best, always respectful, and on and on.  But then there are always a few where it’s not as easy to find the right words to carefully but honestly share not so appreciated classroom behaviors, distractions and disruptions.  Trying to weave in some compliments with the truthful reality of the day-in and out behaviors that take away from the learning of others. And so, as delicately and gingerly as I could I shared with parents, of one of my several that like to march to the beat of their own drum to say it kindly, the truth of what has been happening, especially in the last month or so.  You never know when it will backfire, and the parents do not want to accept it or the parent that barely hears what the teacher is saying and it pretty much ends there. In this case, I was pretty certain I was heard and understood, but I never know for sure. Today, in the afternoon, there was a sub in my classroom while I was at an afternoon training. I returned as the students were being dismissed, and who would be the first person to greet me at the school entrance, THE student from The conference.  Huge smile on his face, happy almost joyful, “Mrs. S, guess what? I earned 7 terrific tickets this afternoon!” I knew, at this moment, that today he was a transformed boy. I had a suspicion in the morning, but this afternoon confirmed it. Now I’m not saying that it will be like this every day. But we did chat for a few moments. I asked him, “Did your mom or dad talk with you after the conference?” “Yes,” he said with a smile. Sometimes, not always, and not always for every day, but every once in a while, those not so easy conversations with parents really do end with a payoff that is VERY nice.

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