Me, the Introvert?

Posted by Jarrod Jones on 10/9/2019 9:00:00 PM

Audio Version

I remember my first year of teaching. Those were the most nerve-racking moments of my life. I actually had to talk to the parents of students I was teaching. I had to meet those many pairs of gazing eyes with my own brown petrified pair. I was an introvert. I was a novice teacher. It was parent-teacher conference, and I was a sheep thrown to the wolves. And I lost. 

I lost my voice, that is.

I fell ill. 

No, it had nothing to do with the parents. They did not inflict me with acute laryngitis. I don’t think laryngitis is contagious. Well, actually it is, just not very much. I’m not even sure what I had. A cold, an infection. I don’t know. I just remember that my throat felt like a cement sidewalk, and I felt like I was a walking swollen red nose that could not stop running. And by the second day of conferences, I wanted to run right out of the cafeteria and never step foot in that school again. 

But I went back the next day, the next night, and now twelve years later, I have had the wonderful experience of over twenty-five parent-teacher conferences. Some might not describe these conferences as wonderful experiences, but I have learned that they can be pleasant. Even though my first one was not pleasant because of my unfortunate condition; actually the next year, I had the same experience during the fall conferences, however, I have not had a scent of sickness since. I guess that the first couple of years of conferences I scared myself sick. And being an introvert, I probably talked too much. Go figure.

Now parent-teacher conferences, albeit are long days, are actually something I look forward to having. I look forward to connecting with parents. I look forward to having a fruitful and engaging relationship with parents throughout the school year. I have truly learned that great communication with parents is not only a necessity, but it is also a satisfying component to a satisfying occupation. Even for an introvert like me.