Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Getting a call from the teacher

During our parent-teacher conference with my son's teacher, my husband and I did our best to ask the questions we had about homework, behavior, areas of improvement and strengths to develop for our son. (We did not ask about the brightly colored emails.) We did make sure that she knew that if there were any problems, we wanted to know about them.

But after reading about potential teacher racial biases when deciding to reach out to parents, I now wonder if I will ever hear from my son's teacher. The problem, as depicted in the article on that link, is that most teachers don't even realize they have any racial bias when it comes to reaching out to parents - whether the news is good or bad. And what happens is that only the parents of minority students get contacted, even when the behavior is the same among children.

But, I am not solely relying on my son's teacher. We talk to our son about school every night at family dinner. I let him choose what he wants to share with us and try to take a deeper dive into whatever topic he starts to discuss. I ask him the same questions every day:
  • What was the best moment of the day and what made it the best?
  • Were there any moments today you wish you could fix or that weren't so great?
  • What do you want to do differently tomorrow?
We may not get through all the questions at the dinner table, but I usually get to them all by the time I tuck him in bed at night. I'm trying to get my son to understand that I expect him to tell me about his day - the good, the bad and even the ugly - before I hear about it from the school.

Like most things in parenting, we'll see how this goes.

Is your child's teacher good about reaching out to you if there is a problem at school? Tell me in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment