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Old 10-12-2012, 01:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Tinijocaro View Post
At Open House for my 5th grade dd, teacher told me and another parent that if we knew our child was doing well and there were no issues, we could forego the conference since we probably didn't want to have to just listen to her tell us how wonderful our kids were-we already knew that. I went over to the sign up sheets and signed up for a conference anyways.

Today, I got the following email from the teacher. A couple other moms got it too.

"Good Morning,
I wanted to touch base with you regarding the Parent/Teacher Conference you signed up for. As I mentioned at Open House, I am not trying to discourage any parent from meeting with me, but as a parent of a very successful student, I found it frustrating to make all the arrangements for a 15 min meeting where the teacher told me my child was great.

I am letting you know that your dd is doing very well so far this year, working at grade level and at the high end of grade level. Unless you have any concerns, I really don't have anything to discuss at our conference.

Please let me know if you would like to meet, or if a phone conversation would work better for you. Thank you, by the way, for raising such a kind and wonderful daughter - she is a pleasure to have in class!

Mrs. Teacher
Pleasant Valley Elementary School"

What are your thoughts? Discuss.
Honestly, if you didn't have any questions or concerns about your dd's school work, and you felt that she was doing well, and the teacher states she's doing well, then I'd probably skip the conference. If you have any concerns at all though, I'd absolutely go. The email does seem a little odd, however having been to numerous conferences for my kids, I do agree, that really they're kinda just a waste of time, unless you have concerns/issues. It's hard for some parents to take off work etc., so unless she gives you some other reason to think otherwise, I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she's doing it with the best of intentions.
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:29 AM   #17
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I know my kids. I have a pretty good idea of how they handle their relationships with friends and peers, and how they behave and perform in school. However, even if I already know my child is "at the top of her class, plays well with others, a great role model and is a joy to have in class," personally, I would want my 15 minutes. I can learn a lot in those 15 minutes... about the teacher. My child will be spending a lot of time with her, and she could have a huge influence on my child's academic success, attitude towards learning and school, or her life in general. While discussing my child, I can get a feel for the teacher, her ideas, attitude, approach to learning, teaching style, if she truly enjoys working with children, etc. That's important to me, as it relates to my child. And, I'll come away knowing if she really knows my child.
I'm just curious (not trying to be rude at all, just honestly wonder) what do you do if you don't like the teacher, or if you don't feel like she" truly knows your child?" Would you attempt to pull your child from her class, tell the principal? I just don't understand why it matters, especially if there are no issues with your child's school work and understanding? I mean, sometimes you get great teachers, coaches, bosses etc., and sometimes you don't, it's just kinda life. If there were no issues regarding my child's school work, even if I didn't personally like the teacher, I'd most likely just chalk it up to a year for a learning experience of dealing with different types of people and teachers for my kiddo.
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:37 AM   #18
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I think it is great that I didn't get a letter telling me that I needed to attend the parent teacher confrences this year or last year. I see most of my kids teachers at other events and we get progress reports every 3 weeks so I know my kids are doing well. I feel like the teacher wants to use her time wisely and concentrate on the kids and parents that need to come to the confrences. I would give my girls a pat on the back and tell them to keep up the great work!
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:56 AM   #19
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I don't understand why parent would not want to go. We went for both of our children all the way through to senior and including senior year. I knew that my child's grades were good and their mannerism were to be good in school. I can not think of a year that we have not had something to discuss about our child in those 15 minutes. You can have the smartest kid in class who is sweet and kind, helps others but still have problems. WE always asked questions. Made sure they were socializing, not overly quiet etc.

I don't think my 15 minutes should go to a parent whose child may be struggling. That is an appointment that the teacher should be making during those 15 minutes so they can address the problem during a meeting of appropriate time. The teacher and parent would know. That definitely should be done at a different time.

I really am finding the answers in this thread interesting and have opened my eyes to how other parents feel about this situation.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:12 AM   #20
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My children do very well at school also. I still attend parent teacher conferences - and its expected. The teachers use this as an opportunity to to discuss how can extend them and what we can do to continue to support them. Its not just about them meeting the benchmarks. Its about them being the best they can be. I expect that the teacher will put just as much effort into assisting my kids being the best they can be as they do for the kids that struggle.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:37 AM   #21
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Wow. I can not imagine a teaching putting that note out, nor can I imagine not attending a parent teacher conference. My kids went to private schools, and the mindset there was if the child was doing well, maybe you needed to look at giving them more challenging materials. My daughter was a whiz at reading, and by the end of First grade, she had been moved up to the Fifth grade materials.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:46 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brockash

Honestly, if you didn't have any questions or concerns about your dd's school work, and you felt that she was doing well, and the teacher states she's doing well, then I'd probably skip the conference. If you have any concerns at all though, I'd absolutely go. The email does seem a little odd, however having been to numerous conferences for my kids, I do agree, that really they're kinda just a waste of time, unless you have concerns/issues. It's hard for some parents to take off work etc., so unless she gives you some other reason to think otherwise, I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she's doing it with the best of intentions.
This. I had basically typed out the same thing as above. Unless there are certain things that YOU want to go over, I would probably skip too.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:52 AM   #23
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If I did not have any specific concerns, I would email a thanks to the teacher with a reminder that she could contact me at ANY time if any type of concern at all ever cropped up and thanking her not taking up my time otherwise, and take the time I would have spend getting to school, waiting my turn, and at the conference to take my kid out for an ice cream instead
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:38 AM   #24
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I would thank that teacher and happily not go and have to take an entire day off from work to hear that my daughter is doing great. I can hear that on the phone! Its not like I didn't know all the teachers in grade school anyway, you see and talk to them at school events etc so I was familiar with them all anyway, I would be happy not to have to go sit there for no reason! I take a day off work and walk in and sit down and the teacher says "I really don't have anything to discuss, your daughter is doing great, straight A's, no problems with anything or anyone in class"......great, that was a fine use of one of my few personal days off from work LOL....


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If things are going well, then why mess with it. When dd14 was in 7th and 8th grades, they did student led conferences and the techers would be around but your kid showed you their work and had a list of if anything was missing etc. Now dd14 is in high school,if they are doing good and are behavingetc,there is no conference requested by the teachers. Now if things aren't going well the teacher will request a conference.
I would not be taking off work for a student led conferences, my kid can have a conference with me at home and show me her work and what is missing! That seems like a big cop out on the schools part.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:39 AM   #25
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As a regular volunteer in an elementary school, I can tell you that there are kids that really struggle. I have been helping a 2nd grader read words that my son could read when he was 3 years old. It is very sad, but also very rewarding when you literally see them connect and get it. I can also tell you that teachers barely have enough hours in the day to get stuff done, and it is not uncommon at all in our school to bypass conferences. They are not mandatory. We get a form sent home from the teacher that states, "I am not requesting a conference for your student at this time. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns." I have never thought to ask a teacher how they intend to challenge my straight A daughter. She works hard for her grades and she is not the only child in the classroom, so I let the teacher decide what will be taught and when. That is their job, afterall. I also don't need "samples" of my kids' work because they bring it home. I see it everyday. I would prefer the teacher have the extra time to spend with those who need it. Could she have worded the email better? Sure, but I don't think it is that big of a deal.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:45 AM   #26
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I am really surprised at how many people would "happily skip" the conference! I have two daughters who have always excelled in school. Conference day was my favorite day of the year! Who doesn't like hearing wonderful things about their child? I was so disappointed to learn that conferences end in 5th grade in our district, unless there is a problem. They don't do those nice happy conferences in middle and high school.

I am a teacher. I get what it's like. I have to do multiple conferences for divorced parents who can't be in the same room at the same time. However, each parent deserves the same amount of time to discuss his or her child, regardless of how they are performing in the classroom.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:47 AM   #27
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Personally I have no problem with the open house statement or the email. At open house, the teacher said (paraphrasing) "if you know your student is doing fine, you don't need to schedule a conference". I think the follow up email went out to make sure parents KNEW their kids were doing fine.

The teacher did not say "don't come to the conference". It sounded like she wanted parents to know they can save THEIR time, as well as hers since there wasn't really much to discuss. I do think implying the teacher just wanted to go home early is very rude.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:55 AM   #28
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I would still keep my appointment. The purpose of a conference is not just to discuss what problems your child may be having. It's for the parent to get to know the teacher better (and vice versa), see the child's work samples, and learn about the classroom routine and cirriculum. Even if your child is doing very well, a conference is not just for the teacher to gush about their progress. It also opens up an important line of communication between the teacher and parent.
We have a seperate open house night for that. We get all the info we need and the teacher lets us know how to contact her if needed. 6th grade and up do not shedule parent teacher conferences unless there is a problem. A parent can request one at any time during the year as well, so if my kids are doing good I don't see the need to have that one on one time with the teacher.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:00 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker'n'Fun View Post
: Me thinks the would rather be at home doing this instead of her job.
Even if they would rather be at home doing instead of her job, it probably won't be happening. In every school I've taught in, we were required to be in school for a specific time frame. This year it is 12:30pm to 4pm and then again from 6pm to 8:30pm for 2 days. Believe me, some years, depending on the class, that is not enough time. Every year, there is always at least one parent/child who needs more than 15 minutes.

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I usually do not tattle, but I wonder if the principal is aware of this teacher's policy and agrees with it.
Again, based on personal experience, my guess would be that the principal is well aware of the teacher's policy. In fact, the principal may have been the one who suggested it.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:01 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by emer95 View Post
I am a teacher. I get what it's like. I have to do multiple conferences for divorced parents who can't be in the same room at the same time. However, each parent deserves the same amount of time to discuss his or her child, regardless of how they are performing in the classroom.
As there is just enough time in the day for each parent in the class to have 15 minutes with the teacher do the ones with the divorced parents who need 2 seperate times get 7 1/2 minutes each? Certainly wouldn't be fair that they each get 15 minutes, no wonder teachers are asking people not to come!!
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