This past week, I attended Parent-Teacher conferences for my boys.
These meetings are scheduled for a mere 15 minutes. How can a discussion of this magnitude even scratch the surface in this time??? Our children are our pride and joy; or at least a major part of our lives. This is the one topic that I can blather on about incessantly.Can you imagine getting a fifteen minute performance review at work? I felt like I was speed dating!
I rushed from work to get to school, barely on time. Breathlessly I arrive to a closed door. There was a sign on the door, " Please knock when it is your scheduled conference time." I looked at my watch. it was my time now and I gently knocked.
A few minutes went by and I peered through the window into the room. The teacher and parent, seated at a table seemed unaware of my presence.
"Did they hear my knock?" I wondered.
Should I try again or wait patiently? As I struggled with this issue and was about to tap the door again, I noticed some signs that the meeting was coming to a close. The straightening of papers, slowly pushing away from the table and finally standing up and heading toward the door, signaled that it was finally my turn.
I glanced at my watch as I headed into the classroom. My scheduled time is half over!
I have 7 minutes to discuss my child before spilling into the next parent's time.
It seemed like we were just getting started when I heard a tapping on the door. I followed the teacher's lead and tried to ignore the fact that I was now encroaching on the next session. I couldn't help but feel rushed. I breezed through the rest of the conference trying to pick up one or two areas that I can help my child with. As I left the classroom, avoiding eye contact with the waiting party, I looked at my watch. I had used my alloted time and left the next parent in the same time deficit.
Fortunately I had seven minutes until my next conference. We learned our lesson from last year and made sure there were no back to back sessions. Last year we had a chatty teacher that was running 10 minutes behind followed by a teacher who was a stickler for staying on schedule. Needless to say, things did not go well.
My 6:00 conference started on time! I was amazed! I asked the teacher how she was able to stay on time. It turned out she lost 30 minutes of her 45 minute dinner break to get back on schedule. I tried to make sure I kept to my time slot!
I think next time I will take either the first or last time slots.