I was changing my wall calendar from October to November and the quote on the November page caught my eye. “…eureka moments seldom come when you’re rushing, straining. They come when you’re walking the dog…” (Carl Honore). I couldn’t agree more. During a busy day, running from class to class, meeting to meeting, the only thought is about what is next. My mind is on getting to the next step, and then the next.
I found this quote to be apropos this week, as teachers and parents came together for conferences. Rarely during the day do teachers and parents have this protected, uninterrupted time to discuss a child’s progress, celebrate their successes, and mull over strategies to help support areas needing growth. While we spend many hours with your children at school, you spend many hours with them at home. Together, we can take half an hour to talk only about your child. Protected time, free of children calling to us, pulling on us, needing our attention.
In a study resulting in a list of the Top 10 Eureka moments, I was not surprised to see driving, before sleeping and working out made the list. This explains why my son always shared deep thoughts right at bedtime when all we wanted was for him to go to sleep! Less than 1% of eureka moments happen at work, while brainstorming, or while trying to THINK. In fact, it seems that eureka moments occur most often when we are not trying to think.
What am I getting at? Parent-teacher conferences are a wonderful time to share information, observations, concerns, and praise. However, they are only 30 minutes long. They are not meant for us to solve the world’s problems, rather, they are to begin or continue a conversation. After conferences, teachers spend countless hours replaying them, reflecting on what was learned and shared, and coming up with plans moving forward. Parents – we are a team. Please take time to reflect as well, and know that we are here to continue the conversations!