Although, I am much more comfortable speaking in front of students, the “back-to-school-curriculum-nights” where you have to talk to parents has become a little easier.
My cohort and I focused less on the details of the curriculum, but more on the importance of how each child is different, and how we try and help each child achieve to their own maximum potential. We also focused on how important it is for these kids to reach this goal as a team and learn to solve problems together.
At all ages in elementary school, kids’ social and emotional well being must come first. They have to feel they are in a safe enough environment to take risks, fail once in a while, and learn from those mistakes. They also have to learn that they can learn together, by working together, interacting, and lifting each other up.
Our job on curriculum night is not only to announce the curriculum to the parents (they can read those), but to convince them that their children are going to be nurtured, safe, and happy first. As teachers, like parents, we invest a lot of emotional labor. Most teachers usually refer to their class by saying, “My kids _______.”
I think our job at curriculum night is to make sure parents understand that we are on the same team, and that we all want what’s in their child’s best interest. We may not always agree, but we strive to help these kids grow and flourish. I hope we managed to do some of that tonight.