The Night I Disrupted Parent Teacher Conferences

Heavy1As Superintendent of a large suburban school district with 19 schools and nearly 10,000 students there is somewhere I should be every night of the week.  I have formal meetings to attend or  student athletic contest or performances.  Most nights that is exactly where I am and on those nights that I get to watch our students, I really enjoy it.  

Last week I was out at something each and every night.  With that in mind I determined that last night I was going to be home with my family.  It was a nice October night and with some extra time my daughter and I determined that we would go to the elementary school and throw the lacrosse ball against the solid brick wall.

For athletes hoping to improve their lacrosse skills throwing the ball against the brick wall is one of the best possible skill building activities.  We began by throwing 50 with our right hand and then 50 with our left.  My daughter had her stick and a ball and I had my stick and a ball.  Before long I was transported back 30 years in my mind and I was channelling my inner Cory Kahoun as I banged the ball against the wall.  (Cory Kahoun was a Lacrosse All- American)  Each time I would throw the ball a little bit harder or attempt to catch the ball in a little different position.  (This is likely when at my age I’m apt to throw my back out or tear a hamstring, but that’s not for this story…)

As Superintendent, I was lost in my mind and enjoying throwing the ball around with my daughter.  Families were coming in and out of the school and many would stop and say hello.  It was really a nice evening for me and hopefully for my daughter.  Unfortunately, I had forgotten that this week is conference week at many of our elementary schools.  Our first grading period ended on Thursday of last week and most elementary school teachers have scheduled personal conferences with the parents of the students in their classes sometime this week or next week.  In Worthington, we no longer have a set night or day for conferences at the elementary and some occur before school in the morning, others late into the evening.

It was the late into the evening part that kind of slipped past me last night.  While my daughter and I were banging the lacrosse ball against the brick wall one of our outstanding teachers was attempting to hold a parent teacher conference in the very classroom where our ball was continuously bouncing off the wall.  This teacher was doing everything right.  Unfortunately she also had to come outside and remind this Superintendent that conferences were going on in her classroom and maybe we could find a different wall to throw our lacrosse ball against.  Yikes!  I’m likely the first Superintendent in history who was attempting to spend time with his daughter and instead disrupted the very parent teacher conferences I think are so important.

So, tonight I’ll likely take my daughter to watch our students play or perform.  And, I’m in the process of writing my hand-written apology for disrupting conferences.  Sometimes life is interesting!

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