I went to school conferences today. For the last time.
I’ve been going to conferences since my oldest was in preschool, squeezing my derriere into those tiny little toddler chairs. I’d listen attentively to the teacher telling me my oldest son was developing strong pre-reading skills or that he liked the science station.
Today, my husband and I sat on those round little discs attached to the cafeteria table and listened to my youngest son’s physics and calculus teacher. Things were mostly quite good. He needs to do more memorization of AP Calc derivatives but he did an awesome job in Psychology when his team explained the bystander effect -- how a victim will get more help from a single individual than a group.
I love my kids’ teachers. They have taught my kids things I don’t even understand. (Re-read derivatives above.) They’ve taken things I taught my kids, like when I read To Kill a Mockingbird aloud with my 15-year-old-son the summer before it was assigned in school, and they expound on them. It’s as though they shine light through a prism, exposing a new way of thinking. These teaches have laughed with my kids. They’ve seen them frustrated and buoyant. They’ve observed my sons trying to talk with the opposite sex and coached them after school for football.
I felt a tug in my heart the first day back to school this year for my high school senior. Today it transformed into an ache. This was my last school conference after twenty years. I think today affected me more than back-to-school did, because graduation seemed so far off then. Now we are just a few weeks away.
Teachers, you don’t see me around as much as you did back in elementary school when I staffed every Halloween Party and Book Fair, but I am aware of you. I hear about you when my son comes home from school chatting about what went on in class, not even realizing what knowledge he’s just acquired.
Thank you, teachers for sharing this journey with my family. Even though as the years went on we rarely met, it’s always been good to see you....at conferences.
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