Teaching moments: How to make Parent-Teacher conferences better

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  • raybies Layton, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    Focus the teacher on learning. Sometimes they forget that it's not about the grade, but about what the child is learning and how parents can assist their kids in that learning process...

    Oh wait. Focus the parents on learning. Sometimes they foret it's not about the grade, but about what their child is learning and how they can assist their kids in that learning process...

    Oh wait. Both parents, teachers and kids should be focused on learning...

    The last parent teacher conference I went to that was really good was one in which the teacher had my own daughter present her own test scores and progress. This approach, I felt, helped my daughter really start to express the point of all this testing she'd been taking. She discussed her goals with me. Her teacher simply prodded her every once in a while--in a way taking a very backseat role in the process. In a way the teacher was fascilitating communication between parent and child, and I found that very beneficial to my daughter (and probably to me as a parent) because parent teacher conferences should not be about the teacher... they should be about the student...

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 6:48 a.m.

    So basically the article is telling us what we already know:

    When the teacher is open and says nice things about the child, it's a good conference.

    When the teacher doesn't have anything positive to say, then it's a bad conference.

    As a teacher I have never been adverse to working with the special needs of a student, but I do remember a time when the parent was on the side of the teacher and student both, not just a de facto lawyer for the child. Ask any teacher about the 'nightmare' parents each has known during the process.

    My first year as a teacher I learned the worst grade to give a Utah student is an A-. I had to sit while a parent ripped me up and down for not knowing her daughter had receive a 4.0 from birth up to the moment she found herself in my class. Oh, the humanity. But where was that child or parent the last three weeks of the term when she had that grade, and could have asked what could be done to ensure a better grade?

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 6:17 a.m.

    With 18+ years of experience and 3 children dealing with the parent teacher conference and eduction I have little confidence in our schools and education system. These conference have nothing to do with team work with parents except being submissive to education policy.

    If a teacher or school did have a problem with my children in any form, I did expect notification from them to resolve the issues, but not one teacher official ever bothered to call or interact during the school year when problems arose. This always infuriated me and gave me the impression that schools deter parental involvement is school or class room problems. They instead call the police or outside sources to cover up issues of conduct or learning from the parents, especially in middle school and high schools.

    I found the meetings flawed, impersonal, and of little value, but I attended them so my children new I cared about them and me try to figure out why eduction deters parental involvement in education and discouraging children from asking parents help with homework. This isolation policy is how the PTA, NEA, UEA, and BOE are controlling what is in our schools without parental consent.