life with kids

The Dreaded P/T Conferences { with bonus pictures}

The school midterm reports came home from school yesterday – at least for Ethan.  And parent/teacher scheduling sheets have come home as well.  I don’t know how it is for those of you with kids in differing school districts, but here in mine (where the word “public” and “pubic” are interchangeable – see the yahoo report) parent/teacher conferences are 15 minutes long.  Or, I should clarify, 15 minutes for the normal child.  I have a 15 minute appointment with Ethan’s teacher, just one teacher (I need to mention that 4th – 6th graders switch different teachers most subjects).   Noel, on the other hand, was given 30 minutes.  And all 3 teachers will be attending.  I did not get to choose the appointment time.  And as of yet, have not received a mid-term report.

Do you know how much I have come to dread parent/teacher conferences?  I swear, I drive away from those with tears in my eyes more times than not.  It’s not because my children have behavior problems (thankfully they have proven to be kind, compassionate, and obedient – of which is the highest value in my book and I am very proud of them for it). It’s because my kids have struggled so much in school academically.  Ethan’s 4th grade teachers (with reading specialist) worked with him and his hard work started to pay off.  smoker kids and waterfall hike 058He was taken out of the Title 1 program last year, and this year’s 1st mid-term report shows that he is currently making all A’s and B’s.  His daddy’s hard working study habits during the police academy has inspired this young man to work hard.  And he is seeing positive results, now in 6th grade.  He is still kind and compassionate, well liked by his peers.  Ethan has been given the honor of raising the United States flag each morning – which he takes very seriously.  He will not let me take him to school, insisting he ride the bus so that he gets there in time for his duty.   

At the end of last year, Noel had undergone a “full psychological evaluation” to identify whether or not she has a learning disability and if so, what they are.  fishing, 1st field hockey game 036This will be the 1st year of partial special education with an IEP.  I won’t get into the specifics because Noel is understandably very private about all this.  But let me just state that we have a couple issues we are currently trying to figure out – and we have very little base-line knowledge of any of it.  I am almost overwhelmed, thinking there is so much more that I should be doing (and feeling guilty about it) but not knowing how to go about it, or having the energy to do it.  “Knowledge is power”, but the school seems to be less than forthcoming in specific information.  I would not have known to push for her to even be evaluated had it not been for my sister-in-law, who is a 3rd grade teacher and has gone through much of the same with her youngest son, encouraging me.   

But, despite the academic struggle, Noel is blossoming into a beautiful, sensitive, witty (she is not stupid, don’t let her fool you), artistic, musical, and nature-loving little lady.  She confesses shares with me at bedtime all her thoughts during the day.  We discuss everything from wanting a kitten to her changing body, boys to Hershey Park.  I try to impart wisdom, knowing that most of it goes over her head while praying that some of it will eventually settle in there someday.    


This was supposed to be a simple post bragging about how I transformed Noel’s disaster site (her bedroom) into a peaceful retreat on a day I had off of work.  I guess it wasn’t supposed to go that way.  I have a feeling that some of you can identify with what I’m writing about – and that would be awesome because I would love to know that I’m not in this spot alone.

But, so that I can do a 2 for 1er, I’ll add before and after shots of her bedroom:

fishing, 1st field hockey game 043



   <—— before (who could live in that?)


fishing, 1st field hockey game 047



                          after (breathing peaceful now) —>


7 thoughts on “The Dreaded P/T Conferences { with bonus pictures}

  1. Parenting is the hardest job in the world. But you already know that. I’m certain your best will always be just what your children need. How precious that your daughter shares so openly each night at bedtime! Imparting your wisdom will mold your children’s lives in time. And Noel’s bedroom looks great! Good job, Mom!

    1. Thanks Renee’. I so hope and pray that I’m giving as much as what they need and that what I can’t give, the Lord will cover. Parenting is the toughest job with heavy responsibility. I don’t take it lightly. But I am selfish too, and make poor decisions sometimes. Thank goodness God’s right there with them, working on completing his good work in them(despite my mistakes) as he is in me, ongoing until the day we meet him face to face.

      1. I got rid of several black trash bags of clothes and toys and JUNK. Noel is a little pack rat. And now she is very limited in toys – which focuses her on working on art projects and playing her instruements.

        Now on to Ethan’s room …

  2. Isn’t it funny how all of our lives are simply running in parallel lines? I just returned from Emma’s p/t conference yesterday. Ugh. I used to think they were no big deal, until we had Emma’s! She reminds me of how you describe Ethan – thank goodness they’re willing to work hard!!!

    That is so cool about Ethan and the flag!
    Noel is such a fun girl and I love how you talk at bedtime. I have to admit, usually I just say “good night” and then go read a book or something to decompress.

    Her room looks amazing – love the bedspread!

    Hope you’re doing well, Emily 🙂

    1. Maybe it’s because we are ruled by school routine and schedule that our lives run that way – our year really starts in the Fall, not in January. And the public shool requires so much of the kids, I didn’t do this much stuff when I was their age! They only get (1) 15minute recess. I’m sure it’s that way at your school too. That just doesn’t make sense. But, there are some great teachers who have really helped & put the time into my kiddos and they have benefitted because of it.

      There are some nights that I will tell Noel that she needs to journal her thoughts and talk to God about them (admittedly, this is for my sanity and less for her to develop spiritual practises).

      I’ve been thinking about you guys and wondering how you all are doing. Is Josh going hunting in archery season? We need to catch up!

      1. we’re doing well – Josh is almost finished with soccer, and then hopefully he and Rob will be hunting this coming weekend! Other than that, life is very much the same. yawn. 🙂

        please, let’s catch up soon!

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