Before Fall break, we had parent teacher conferences to talk with the parents about how the students are doing in our classes. All of the high school teachers have a table in the music room and another room. The parents can then easily find each of us as they go from table to table finding out how their child is doing in our class. In the states, I use to dread conferences but here it is kind of fun. First of all, the parents really appreciate what we are doing and give teachers a lot of respect. Many of the parents expressed how grateful they are that ISK is here. Without ISK, many Afghan families would not feel comfortable living here in Afghanistan. One unique thing about our conferences is that many of the parents do not speak English. Most will bring a family member who can translate. Sometimes this is a sibling or even the student that you have in class. The Jr. High math and science teacher actually did conferences in German, English and Dari. I was able to do bits of mine in Dari or at least enough that the student would know that I could tell if their translation was correct but mostly I talked in English.
Conferences are a good way to see students from a different perspective. For example, I learned about one student’s dedication when his father told me how he travels an hour and a half each way to school. I also met with a father who has adopted over 5 Afghan boys and sends them all to ISK. He talked about how the student I have is struggling with learning in English but during conversations at meal time he thinks this student is one of the brightest of his sons. I enjoyed seeing the smile on the face of one mother as I told her how much her daughter has improved in her math skills and how I enjoy having her daughter in class. I smiled myself as a younger sibling felt very important translating the conference about her older sibling. Conferences help remind me that these students are more than a name in my grade book. They are the hope of Afghanistan. I am also reminded of how we should never take a good education for granted.
Here is a picture of my Algebra I class. Since I don’t have my own classroom, this class which is my biggest meets in a history classroom. Many of the students in my Algebra I class are in the same grade as Winter so it has been good to get to know the teens that Winter has classes with everyday. Pray for this class as Winter and I daily interact with them that we will be a light for our Savior to them. Teresa