Our First Carolina Parent Teacher Conference

2013 November 6

I was a little bit confused?

4th grader parent teacher compliments better than gradesI showed up ready to see 4th grade documents, tests, writing examples and of course a huge pile of art work. That’s what every school I’ve ever parent-teacher meeting’d with did. They SHOW you your kids work, right?

Let me stop and think… We’ve been to at least 5 elementary schools in all our moves, times 3 kids and a whole lotta teachers.

This is the first time, the teacher had almost nothing to show me and not a whole lot to TELL me about his grades?!

She started off by telling me my kid is a great student and a joy to have in the classroom. Good start, I’d say! She said he does well in all the subjects and then showed me his ‘MAP’ scores.

Well that should be useful at least right?


I kid you not.

This is what the ‘MAP’ test scores look like:

Math: High, High, High Ave., High

Reading: High, High, High, High

I guess he scored high huh? We’ll have to work on that ‘high ave.’ but since we have no idea what was being tested nor what high or high ave. means, um… what the WHAT?!

And when I asked the teacher she didn’t really explain anything further. Oh goody.

So I expected her to pull out the giant stack of papers and artwork any minute and… it must be under her desk? Maybe it’s over on my kid’s desk? Nope. Nothing. A bunch of ‘high’ test scores and that’s that.

A Compliment Better than ‘High’ Test Scores

His teacher stopped at this point and gave my son two compliments I won’t soon forget.
I’m getting kind of teary eyed as I type about it.

First, your son gets along with everyone. And this means I can put him in any small groups. And I know he will do fine and even help the other kids get along in that group.

Second, we have two kids who only join our class for an hour each day. They are special needs kids. Your son is always the first one to reach out to these kids. He is the first to sit by them, share what we are working on, help them find their place in the book or whatever we might be studying at that point.

This mother was floored. Not that I don’t know my kid has compassion and is capable of being kind and even brave around other peers. But hearing all this from his teacher where he isn’t near me, knowing these things aren’t to impress me or anyone else for that matter.


I marched straight home with NOT a single piece of artwork.
I sat down with my little boy (who isn’t so little anymore) and I let him really have it!

I told him as clear as I could that I do NOT care about his grades or ‘high’ marks anywhere near as much as I am truly happy and impressed to hear a teacher tell me my kid is kind and compassionate.

Hold on I have to go get a tissue.


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2 Responses
  1. November 6, 2013

    Oh boy. I needed a tissue myself! This is lovely, mainly because in the grand scheme of things, be glad he scores high but be ecstatic that he is a compassionate human being. Kinda puts things in perspective, huh? Because the teacher did show you the most important things.

    • November 6, 2013

      EXACTLY right?
      I still wish there was some artwork… 🙂
      But what a great thing to be able to tell your kid after a conference.

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