Friday, September 18, 2009

Parent-Teacher Conferences and Blessings

So, in my blatant honesty and openness I think everyone's gotten the impression that I'm not perfect. This would be an extremely accurate perception. I'm an even worse person than I seem to be on my blog because, let's face it, I can go back and edit this. Plus my blog doesn't follow me around, documenting my every word and deed. And thank heaven for that.

While I'm thanking heaven that my blog doesn't document every one of my faults, I also have to note that heaven is where the record is kept.

In light of my new calling and my ever-growing desire to improve, I've been praying for a LOT of help. I have so many shortcomings that make me feel like I'm hardly in a position to stand as a leader or be an example or even a friend to the women in my Relief Society. I've prayed fervently recently regarding some of these things.

I noticed today that a lot of my consistent shortcomings have gotten better. I'm so grateful for the Lord's help when I ask for it. I'm feeling so blessed in this calling and in my efforts to be better for the sake of his daughters. Prayer is awesome. The Lord is awesome.

Switching gears a little bit...

I experienced another milestone as a teacher last night. I was at school from 7:30 AM till around 8:15 PM. Almost thirteen hours at school. Why, you ask? Because I had parent-teacher conferences.

For the most part it was extremely boring. Not a lot of parents came, which is probably the reason I have 65 Incompletes (D or below) in my classes, right? I'm not sure how much of it is lack of parent involvement, how much of it is my fault as the teacher, and how much of it is a total lack of responsibility which I can't comprehend in the least.

I had a few parents though who were concerned about their students and were right on top of them to bring those grades up. Some came to hear how great their kid was.

What I noticed in all of this conversation about my students was how smiley I was. I was genuinely happy to talk to these parents and to tell them that I love their students, and to tell them genuinely where I think their students could improve. I believe I was tactful. And I was so grateful for the parents who were open to these suggestions.

I had some parents suggest that I spend time on grammar and punctuation (which study has shown should be taught VERY differently than how our parents learned it, mind you), and one complain about my limitations as far as what I accept on the reading log. I took these suggestions into consideration, and I think I took them in stride.

What was most awesome aside from how genuinely smiley I was (honestly, my face was hurting after the day was over, haha), was how many Spanish speaking parents came. Most of them had translators with them, but for the most part, I didn't need their help. I was able to talk to them about their students' accomplishments and where they fell short. I told them what their students were required to do, and I told them what a pleasure it was to have their kids in class. I got two or three compliments on my Spanish, and the parents totally followed what I was saying; what I didn't know how to say, I was happy to hear the translators say because I was able to refresh my memory. It was SO awesome, and it did wonders for my confidence in speaking this language. I was so glad I could help them, and I was so grateful I have spent so much time studying Spanish. These parents care about their kids enough to not let the language barrier get in the way of trying to help them in school! It was so awesome guys, seriously. Did I mention it was awesome?

I was proud of myself, but mostly I was happy to be able to help them and talk to them in their own language, and hopefully make them feel more comfortable while I felt totally insecure. As the day went on though I was feeling better and better about my ability to communicate with them. Confidence boost to the max.

After my ridiculously LONG day... I went outside to my car. It had stormed yesterday, so when I walked out the ground was wet. I looked up at the sky though, and recognized the enormous tender mercy that the Lord had given me yesterday. The left over clouds from the storm were lingering in the westward sky. The sun had set, but its remnants were still lighting up the sky so that dark blue and light gray colors painted the vastness in front of me. It was so beautiful that I was actually grateful for the time of day I left school.

I got in my car and drove around the corner to head home. Centennial sits on a big hill, so right as I was going down the hill, I saw a huge lit up building on the east mountain. It was the Provo Temple. I'm blind, so everything was totally dark in the hills around it. But that Temple stood bright and clear right in front of me. It was gorgeous. I was grateful for that, and for the huge and obvious reminder that I need to get back there as soon as possible, which is why I've pleaded for the Lord's help with improving.

I'm feeling unbelievably exhausted, but incredibly blessed in my efforts. God is good.

Overworked Spanish-speaking Teacher,

1 comment:

StacyB said...

It is so incredible. All of your hard work now paying off. Janae, seriously, you probably made such a great impression on those Spanish speaking parents. I know you did a great job with everyone. It's a tough profession you chose, but it is one you are perfect for.