It is an honor to teach your children. It is an honor to spend our days getting to know them, to realize their infinite capacities, and to support them in moments of struggle. As professional educators, getting to know your child is at the core of our job and one of the reasons we love what we do. From the profound and serious (“I am thankful that my brother feels all better,” a four year old told his class during a Shabbat celebration) to the sweet and humorous (“I have the hiccups,” a three year old whispered to me earlier this week), children are always expressing themselves. Their paintings, their block structures, their friendships, the stories they tell, and so much more, are all expressions of who they are and how they identify with the world. Through careful observation and documentation, we slowly record many of the ways we come to know your child.
This coming Tuesday and Wednesday, our teachers have the honor and privilege to sit together with you and share these thoughts. Parent-Teacher conferences area a sacred time during which we hope to share how we have come to know your child.
For some of you, this will be the first time you are engaging in an in-depth conversation about your young child with a non-family member. For some of you, this will be the seventh or twelfth or thirtieth time you are sitting down at a conversation like this. For all of you, this is a special time to hear from your teachers, to share your thoughts, and to build together a more complete understanding of who your child is during their time in school.
Often around schools, with children of any age, you will hear talk about curriculum, teaching strategies, child development, academic standards, and other buzzwords. At your conference next week, you will likely hear about most of these. But more important than any of these, and at the heart of our work as a community, is who we know your child to be. Learning about your child in the context of a personal, trusting, and loving relationship is the most important role we can play.
We are looking forward to joining with you next week in these conversations and continuing our partnership over the months and years to come.