I have a love/hate relationship with Open House. I initially hate it because I will have left my house about 6:00 am and not returned home til about 9:00 pm. Trust me, that gets old quick. On the other hand, seeing my kids without their “student” masks on is always insightful and heartwarming. I forget just how adult so many of my students must be. They care for younger siblings, interpret English for their non-English speaking parents and carry the dreams of their family’s deepest aspirations for success in America with them as they try to navigate me assigning them “Dissect the theme of ________ in a well-written essay” for homework many, many times a year.
Sometimes, it’s gotta be tough.
However, I just had a student — male, Hispanic, 15 years old — come into my room with 2 parents and they wanted to know everything. His grades, attitude, attendance, work ethic… goodness were they on me about him. And he was looking at the floor, somewhat ashamed/embarassed. But our conference ended with me telling this student that he was lucky, that there are scores of kids at this school that have no parents coming to see me, no parents asking thoughtful questions, no parents making deep inquiries and really working hard to know what’s going on in their teenage son’s life.
And this student is a good kid. Well behaved, polite, smart, does his homework, not hanging with the wrong crowd (as far as I know but with teens today, does one really ever know?), on his way to college one day.
Yep, lucky. Though he might not really feel it so much now, this kind of involvement, their active engagement is going to have shaped — for the better — his future life.
Really, how many times on this ning have we discussed the importance of parents? And if Open House proves anything, it proves that. I mean the kids who are failing, is it a coincidence that their parents haven’t come to see me tonight? Virtually all the folks who came in this evening are parents of kids who are earning a B+ or higher.
It’s not rocket science. Parents matter!! And meeting the parents of my students is always a joy for me. Goodness, I love Open House.
But I can’t wait for it to end so I can finally get out of here as well. Another long day almost in the books.
Parents, parents, parents. When they are on my side I feel like I can move mountains with my kids. And when they are not, the hills to climb becoming so much more steep.