Parent-teacher conferences can often cause a lot of anxiety. Parents might be concerned about what a teacher will say about their child. A teacher might be concerned about anything negative that a parent will say. But in a Christian school, it should be different. The unity we experience in a Christian school is truly beautiful and unique. We partner with Christian families to educate their children from a Christian worldview. We share the same big goals in life. Parents support teachers as they work together to see each student thrive.

I can recall my first parent-teacher conference as a student teacher in a public school. Most of the parents didn’t even show up. However, out of the families that did come, I was shocked by the critical and negative attitudes of so many of the parents. In addition, the teachers were many times in opposition to the parents.

Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25). How can we expect our students to flourish in our schools unless teachers and parents have unity? Sadly, our current public school culture is marked with distrust and disunity.

Christian schools should celebrate the unity and agreement our community shares on the most fundamental truths of life. To be able to open a parent-teacher conference with prayer and ask God to lead the meeting is so life-giving. A parent-teacher conference at a Christian school should not only focus on a student’s academic achievements or behavior, but should also celebrate a student’s spiritual development and God’s work in each of our lives.

A Christian school teacher is called to nurture the whole student – heart, soul, mind, and strength. At my school, we often say we desire to “know our students excellently” so that we can help each student grow into godly young men and women who are Biblically Grounded for Life. However, teachers can only know their students excellently by truly partnering with parents and knowing each family and their story well. It is such a joy to see some teachers at my school having a third or fourth student from the same family over the years of building relationships with the same parents. Those conferences are a visible representation of God’s faithfulness in the lives of families and the community that is built over years of consistent parent-teacher partnerships.

As Christian educators, let us always praise God for the blessing of being in a school environment where parents and teachers are moving in the same direction by holding God’s Word in high regard and seeking to faithfully raise the next generation to be passionate followers of Christ.

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

David Callahan is currently the K-8 Principal at Beaver County Christian School in western Pennsylvania. Mr. Callahan was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona where he attended Christian schools from K-12th grade. He received his bachelor’s degree in history at Geneva College. Following his undergraduate work at Geneva, he moved back to Phoenix and attended Arizona State University where he earned his Masters in Secondary Education. Mr. Callahan completed his second master’s degree from Grand Canyon University in K-12 educational administration. David has taught social studies to students from 5th -12th grade during his teaching career. Mr. Callahan has served as Head of School at Payson Christian School in Arizona as well as Principal and Director of Operations at Grace Covenant Academy in Cornelius, North Carolina. David and his wife Julia live in Beaver Falls PA with their three daughters.