Each spring our conferences are student led. And each spring we second guess why we do it this way. We spend weeks of class time putting together a portfolio of work. Students organize their work into content areas and then find something to celebrate and something to work on for each area. They look at goals set last fall and reflect on how they have met them. They set goals for the last trimester of school and think of ways their parents can help them meet these goals. It is so time consuming and a true exercise in organization (and patience at times on our part). Just teaching the kids how to use a 3 hole punch turned out to be a big challenge this year!
But every year, after our last night of back to back meetings for 4 hours straight, we sigh and say it was worth every minute. This year was no exception. We got to be voyeurs for 26 twenty minute blocks of time. We got to peek into parent/student relationships in a way that that is truly a gift. Students talked to their parents, not to us. We watched them go piece by piece through their portfolio showing off what they have learned in the last trimester. And we watched parents pour themselves back across the table to their children.
It is remarkably beautiful to watch children present themselves to their parents. Often times we see a whole new side to students that we’ve never seen. Some students are visibly nervous at first and some students present like they have been doing TED talks all along. But for every child, we can almost hear it as they soak up the compliments, praise and genuine interest of their parents.
This year we had one particularly intense conference. It was incredibly emotional, tear filled, and also laughter filled. But mostly, it was abundantly and palpably love filled. Unbridled, raw and pure.
Thank you to all of my families for letting me be the fly on the wall tonight, watching love at its best.