We call them partnership meetings not parent-teacher conferences at my school, and yesterday I participated in eighteen of them. At the end of the day I was tired, but I was also thinking about that word- partnership- and why I appreciate it.
The older I grow, the more I appreciate that solid relationships are, at their best, partnerships. Partnerships are relationships built on give and take, shared goals and responsibility and collaboration. Partnerships are not immune from differing opinions, but they are full of respect and willingness to consider the other side. I am fortunate to teach children whose parents place their trust in me, and I enjoy the opportunity to sit and think together about my students/their children.
My day ended with a fiftieth birthday celebration for a dear friend. We were reminiscing about how we met and connected- we did not have children in the same school and our paths crossed only infrequently. Our friendship is a partnership, and we have, over the years, taken turns as the sounding board, cheerleader and steady hand for one another.
I am blessed to have many wonderful partnerships in my life, and today I celebrate all of them.