Conferencing with Parents

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Yesterday was the dreaded "Parent Teacher Conferences", and I am glad to report that I am still alive and well. 

I had found out about these conferences at the end of last month while looking at one of my student's newsletters.  Now my Korean is far from good, but I like to look at the news letters to get an idea of when this month's field trip is and when the monthly birthday party will grace me with more cake.  This time I saw mention of all the kindergarten classes and different dates-  I asked one of the Koreans about it and was told we were doing parent teacher conferences. 

Now I've taught open classes where the administration can come in and watch me teach, but this was my first parent teacher conference as a non-student. 

Thankfully I know how Korea functions and got to work right away.  I hadn't decorated my classroom that much prior to then, but I did a lot of decorating in the weeks leading up to yesterday's doom's day.  I got cute little origami paper and made long banners to string across the classroom ceiling.  When I finished one of my students, Speed said it looked like a party, so I was very pleased. 

I also put up some of the kid's artwork and put on one of my most Korean looking dresses (with a high collar) and made little note cards outlining the strengths and weaknesses of each student. 

These parents pay a LOT for their kids to go here and most are doctors or other high profile jobs and expect a lot of their children's education.  I'm testing 2nd graders on reading Robin Hood for Pete's sake.  I'm also reading one of my 2nd grade girls "the BFG".  These kids are super smart and their parents except them to be even smarter little fluent English machines. So there was a lot of pressure on this meeting with super critical Moms.  It wouldn't take much for a class worth of Korean moms (which is usually 5 or less) to dictate how you run your class- or rather how you need to change how you run your class.
Thankfully both my Kindergarten parents and my 2nd grader parents were nice and didn't have anything bad to say.  So really no news is good news and I got by unscathed- which is more than some of the other teachers can say.

From Busan with Parental Love,
Jenna Teacher

P. S.  I just found out that on Friday May 25th there is going to be a Kindergarten "Family Day", whatever fresh new hell that means.

From Roam with Love




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