Sorry for the late and meandering post. My first day of winter vacation got away from me...
Let me honest:
I do not enjoy calling parents.
It's weird because I almost never have a negative conversation.
I look forward to working with parents.
Somehow, though, I still have this irrational hesitation.
Like I'm a little scared and I don't know why.
I blame my first teaching internship.
Because the school was struggling, teachers had been issued cell phones to make parent contacts.
The teacher I worked with handed off that task to me. Mostly I think, to avoid doing it himself.
Since I wasn't exactly teaching the classes and I had very little guidance, those conversations were both uncomfortable and intimidating.
I guess I've never quite gotten over that introduction to calling home.
The weirdest thing is that I love making positive calls home.
Anyway, none of that is the point of this post.
The point of this post is to tell you about the phone calls I made on the last day before winter vacation.
There were two.
This year, we are offering a support class to a handful of freshmen who clearly need extra help, but don't qualify for an IEP or ELL support or any other Federal program.
I share my room with the teacher of this class.
She and I have had a lot of opportunities to communicate and get to know each other.
Several of my students are already enrolled in her classes.
And it has helped them immensely.
So when she told me she had a few seats for next semester, I jumped at the chance to help some students who are in danger of failing.
One of the stipulations for a schedule change is contacting the parent.
It is one thing to call a parent to ask permission to move them to an advanced course.
It can be a little trickier with support classes.
I totally get it, too.
Who wants to hear their kid needs that much extra help?
Anyway, I put off the calls as long as I could.
Then I sucked it up and dialed.
Even though I thought I get a good response, there still that niggling doubt.
Fortunately, the reception from both families was insanely positive.
The first parent I called didn't even let me finish.
As soon as I said the word support, he conferenced in his wife.
The student in question moved from another state where she had received special education services.
She doesn't qualify for those services in our state.
They are thrilled. Their only question was when the schedule change would occur.
The second parent was equally enthusiastic.
This student has recently moved into the district with his aunt and uncle.
He wants to do well, but...
He is coming from a district that has been without accreditation for most of his school years.
His academic skills are poor.
His behavior, mostly in response to his academic struggles, can be problematic.
There is little about the game of school he has mastered.
As soon as I finished my initial spiel, his uncle blurted, "Anything to help his education, I am down for!"
His only question was also when the schedule change would occur.
This is a good thing.
For at least these two sweet babies, we are providing some structural, consistent, academic support.
Parent contact and involvement is always a good thing.
This time it was a great way for all us to begin the winter vacation.