Friday, February 5, 2016


February 3 & 4.
SEP time.
AKA "Student Education Plan."
But, what it really is, is
Parent - Teacher Conferences.

The first time I ever did Parent Teacher Conferences,
it was a Friday, and our conferences were held from 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
There was no assigned time.
Parents just showed up...whenever.
No kids allowed, either.
(This was hard to understand, because the secretaries at my mom's
school scheduled each child, and notified parents by mail!
But, that was Jordan District!)
I thought it was great to go home 1 1/2 hours before the usual time!
The kids got the day off, but we didn't.  It was because we were
already paid for that day.

I learned a lot that first year!
The biggest thing I learned was this:
Even though I went home as a girl, and told my parents everything
that happened at school...most kids don't.
Especially boys.
That's where I learned to have "parent signatures" on every unit,
and came up with my "weekly notes."
The weekly notes were done individually for each student.
It had a list of each child's missing assignment from the previous week,
and how many points each assignment was worth.
That was one of my strengths...keeping track and following through
with missing assignments.
But, it took forever to fill these out...week after week, year after year.
(Especially, my last year, with 37 students.)
But, a parent could never come back and say they didn't know
their child had missing assignments.
(Having the weekly note signed was worth 10 points on their
language grade each week.)

Then, the conferences switched times.
After school on Thursdays until about 7:30, then
Friday mornings until about 11:30, with Friday afternoons off.
This was so dads could come after work on Thursdays.
Parents came at an assigned time...kind of.
It was according to the first letter of their last name.
And, there was always back up!
(I learned to have our class video playing in the hall
to pass the time.)
The 2nd, 3rd, & 4th grades were in the gym.
We were in our classrooms, and sometimes the Media Center.
(With no walls, parents could check lines.)
Again, no kids.

A "Master List" soon followed.
It was set up on a table by the office.
Parents came in and signed up when they wanted.
Students were also added to the conferences.
This was the BEST to have the child there!!!

Times changed again.
Wednesday and Thursdays after school...4:00 -7:30.
Then, the school could pick a day off.
We always picked the day before Thanksgiving in the fall,
and a Friday in March in the Spring.
These were called "Comp Days."
(Compensation Days.)

One of the best additions to SEPs happened a little later.
The PTA began serving dinner at 3:30.
The district then had district wide "Comp Days."
The day before Thanksgiving, and a Friday in March.
(This was the only day off in March.)

Later, parents signed up online for SEPS.
I loved this!!!  If the parent didn't sign up,
I put the available times on board, and let the kids pick.
We could pick our times, and block others.
I always did 4 conferences before school each morning.
That was 8 conferences!!!  I had to do this, to fit
in all the kids!  I always had over 30 my last
few years of teaching.
(David was great with letting us leave, as long as we had
gotten everybody.)
Comp Days changed again.
The Spring Comp Day, along with a
"Snow Make Up Day, were added to Spring Break, 
making it a week long.

I have loved reading all of my teacher friend's posts on Facebook about 
Parent Teacher Conferences. 

 I taught about 1,000 students in 33 years. 
That's 66 times I did scheduled conferences. 
 And that's 1,980 conferences!
Hmmmm. 1980.
Coincidentally, that's the year I began teaching!

In Alpine, parents are concerned about their child's education, and always came!  
I always loved visiting with all my students and parents...but, it was 
a big job to get ready.  I was much happier being at the Jazz game
Wednesday with Adonna, instead of doing conferences! 
 And, might I add...NOBODY does dinners as well as the Alpine PTA!!!

Here are some pictures of my last year of SEPs.
These were the best, because I had also taught the parent
as a 5th grader!!!

 Max's mom, Melody Walker Sutherland, was in my 2nd class.
I taught two of Melody's sisters, too.
I didn't teach Max's dad, but I taught three of his dad's brothers!
One of his dad's brothers, Danny, was in the same class as Melody!

One of Melody's sisters that I taught, was Brook.
And now . . . look who Brook's teaching in kindergarten!!!
That's right my little Addie!!!
(great niece)

Cache's mom, Marylynn Miller Smith, was in my 4th class.
Cache's dad's sister, was also in the same class.
I also taught Cache's brother, Aaron.

Kennedy's mom, Alison Mills Skea, was in my 10th class.
If you want to know what Alison looked like in the 5th grade,
just look at Kennedy!
(I even called Kennedy, Alison, many times!)

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