A trend I hate

The Times writes about a trend with which I’ve long been familiar:  student participation in parent-teacher conferences.  The article leads with a school district that has benefitted from this trend, since more people show up for the conference than have in the past.  The article also points to parents who like it that their child was in the room when the teacher said something, so that same bit of information didn’t have to be repeated through the parent intermediary.

As for me, I hate the trend.  Having my children in the room means that it is impossible to have an open exchange of ideas and information with the teacher.  My kids march through the same “strength-weakness” algorithms they’ve been writing since first grade, without those “self-analyses” having any effect whatsoever on their future performance.  To me, these conferences have become a complete waste of time.

Have you experienced this type of conference?  Or would you like to?  What’s your opinion?

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Chilynne

    The point is to prevent discussion of “difficult” topics. Teachers use the children as shields against parental probing.

  • Anne

    At the school where I teach, we meet with the parents and then call the student in if necessary. I like that method. We can speak freely with the parents (and they can speak freely with us), and then we can address any issues directly with the student together. This is for 7th and 8th grades.

  • http://thoughtyoudneverask.blogspot.com/ zabrina

    I too would hate that trend more, except that alternative methods have become available. I email the teachers when I have anything to ask or say that I consider private and better kept among adults. Also I wouldn’t hesitate to ask for a private conference with the teacher, either at the scheduled parent-teacher conference time or any other time. Also I have dropped in before and after school to exchange just a few words with the teacher, out of my child’s hearing. By keeping in touch, with all those venues available, the scheduled parent-teacher conference holds few surprises, is just more of a pro forma touching-bases meeting that the student might as well be part of.

    I have also gotten phone calls and returned calls at home from teachers, but that can be a problem if your child is standing right there. I really prefer emailing, and brief, private arranged meetings at school.

    My experience is the parent has the power here when it comes to talking with the teachers–ask and ye shall receive it as ye want it. If you don’t bring your child to the meeting, will the teacher refuse to meet with you? I doubt it.