|My view from the conference seat.|
You're not allowed to bring kids. I understand they can be distracting, but staying home means I am the babysitter. Just me. It's not convenient to assume I can get a babysitter for 15 minutes of my day. We have no family local, so I'm left with the option to kindly beg friends and often drive the complete opposite direction of the school to drop the kids off for a conference that isn't really necessary but one I feel terrible about missing since my past (and future!) life was that of a teacher. That held conferences. And expected parents to show up. I do care about my 3-year-old, but I hardly believe she plans to tell me anything I didn't know since she spends 5 total hours of her week with him and I spend all eighty billion hours of mine. But, he is with other kids and it's a social environment and one with structure and all that jazz.
As a teacher, I always encouraged kids to be involved in the conferences because I felt that they owned their learning, but that was also upper elementary when they had a handle on these school experiences and weren't still learning to pull up their pants after going to the potty.
I received a text from another mom in Benjamin's preschool class last night asking if I wanted to tag team the kids (total, 4) while the other heads to the conference. Sure. Sounded perfect. Except, my conference was at 9:00 and hers at 9:15, directly following mine. We couldn't do the whole drop-off-the-kids-at-your-house thing and swap out, because we had no travel time in between conferences. Next idea, hang out with the kids at the school playground. Except, they were having maintenance done and the preschool director deemed it "unsafe" to play.
So, I packed a bag of crackers, books, sidewalk chalk, balls and a remote-control car and showed up in front of the school at 8:55. She arrived and we both kept the kids contained and busy for the half hour right in front of the school on the sidewalk.
The conference was nothing surprising. Benjamin mostly follows directions, but has difficulty sometimes with sharing and, well, caring. He's got his own agenda but has shown great improvement in following directions and knows all of his colors (except gray), body parts, his gender and full name and shapes. She did surprise me when she said he comes willingly to engage in art projects. All of this was written down on his assessment sheet (that I received) and then she told me a few cute stories of him playing "airport" with the other kids in the class. It's cool to know he's now engaging with other kids instead of the parallel play that dominated his early preschool months.
Other than that, I would've preferred 2.5 glorious hours of kid-free time. What on earth am I going to do this summer when I don't even have those 5 hours to grocery shop? #sendgroceries