being a teacher, conferences, Student

There Is Always Something Good


I am exhausted.  Eyes feel like cotton balls, my head is spinning.  The boots on my feet feel like they weigh 20 pounds each.  Welcome to the day after parent-teacher conferences; a marathon of 5 minute conferences in a 4 hour span that leaves me feeling like I am not quite sure who I am or what I said.  And still…

I may have rushed through every conversation.  I may have not said everything I wanted to say.  I may not have fulfilled every hope, that happens when you are held to a 5 minute time limit (middle school conferences at their best).  I am not sure I was enough , the time definitely wasn’t, but I kn I know one thing for sure.  I know that in every conference I brought up something good.  I brought up something unique.  Something that the child brings to our classroom, brings to my life.  Every single child had something good mentioned.  Every single child was worth celebrating.

Yes, there are goals and challenges, ups and downs that need to be discussed.  Those pesky habits we are trying to break, those strong skills we are trying to teach.  The strides we have to make, the plans we have to lay.  But there is also good.  And goodness in every child.  Every child has something positive worth sharing.  Every child is worth us smiling about.  So even if the academics are in shambles, and who knew where those behaviors are coming from, look for the good, perhaps dig really deep, but remember, that these are children we get to talk about.  Children who are learning what it means to be successful.  Children who are learning from their mistakes.  Children whose parents send us their very best child every day.  Parents who need to hear that we see something worth believing in.

There is always something good to share, it is our job to uncover it.  Just like our students uncover it in us every day.  Just like parents believe in us every day.  So dig deep if you must, but don’t give up.  Uncover the goodness in each child.  Uncover your belief that they can be good.


PS:  I cannot wait to do student-led conferences in the spring…

I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA,  who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade.  Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day.  First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press.   Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press.  Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.

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