Almost every parent has wondered at some point, “What does my child do at school every day?” Regardless of the child’s apparent happiness or even unhappiness, it can be a struggle to get stories about classroom accomplishments from our little scholars. Just like their parents, children need a little space to process the days’ events, good and bad. As a result, questions like How was your day, sweetie? What did you do today? are often answered with every parent’s favorite response: “Nothing.” Seriously? “Yes,” the tiny student answers gravely, “Nothing.” Unsolicited comments are usually refreshing and honest, but may lack a certain context. Does Susie really steal the reading chair from my child every day? “Yes,” the reporting child confirms. “Every day.”
Parent-Teacher conferences are a wonderful opportunity to sit down with your child’s teacher and get to the bottom of it all! It may turn out that, in fact, it is your child stealing the reading chair from Susie every day (I’m speaking from personal experience here). Further, while your child may not mention it by name, she is demonstrating phenomenal proficiency in math concept exercises. Parents have the opportunity to share that their child is maybe not sleeping so well, or is having difficulty with a situation at home. Mysteries can be unraveled!
Obviously, the details will be different for each child and his/her family. The Parent-Teacher conference is a fantastic opportunity for both teacher and parent. The teacher has an opportunity to ask questions about the student’s behaviors at home. The parents have a chance to see, up close and in person, what their child really does in the classroom every day. Montessori education is rigorous in its intention to see its students clearly, and is determined that weaknesses are only opportunity for growth. In partnership, parents and teachers can help our students to achieve the greatest things: independence, integrity, and intellectual curiosity. Most importantly, the Parent-Teacher Conferences can answer that age-old question: What DOES my child do all day at school?