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Old 10-12-2012, 08:22 AM   #46
luvmy3
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Originally Posted by j's m View Post
I always looked at parent conferences as a way to let the teacher know things about our DS that he/she might not know from a classroom setting.

His kindergarten teacher went on and on about his cutting skills, he really needed to practice, etc. Even gave him an unsatisfactory on his report card. (He still can't really cut straight and he's a freshman in college!) When we asked her if they had any advanced work for the kids that were reading, she had no clue he could read, and this after 2 months of school. I didn't have the heart to tell her that he was reading everything on her desk when he came in the morning, and telling me about it.

Just because your child is doing well, the teacher has 25 give or take students and may not really know the ones that are not the problems, since the problems take up more time. We never missed an opportunity to speak one on one with the teacher, not just at the open house which was more speaking to the parents. My DH always said he wanted to get his money's worth!

I am amazed at the number of parents here that do not take the opportunity to speak with the teachers.
I would say that the examples you gave are concerns about your child, some of us don't have concerns about our kids. Also to be fair, most schools do have parent teacher conferences for all students in the elementary level, it isn't until middle school when they aren't mandatory. By then our kids are able to communicate with us and with their teacher about what they need.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:23 AM   #47
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I would have been pleased to hear that from the teacher and I would happily skip the conference. Most of the ones I went to were the same kind - unless I had a real concern I'd stay home.
I agree. Cannot even begin to count the number of HS conferences that consisted of a hello, my name is, my daughter Susie is in your 5th hour . . . Oh, you're Susie's mom? She's an amazing student, over 100% in the class, er, um, yeah . . .

Why waste time finding out what I already knew from my kid or could have looked up on the parent portal? I'd have replied thank you very much, I'm thinking the same in response to the email and invited the teacher to contact me any time if any concerns arose.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:30 AM   #48
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I don't have a big problem with the message the teacher sent. However, if you have things *you* want to discuss with the teacher, I wouldn't feel badly taking up a conference slot either.

At our elementary, they have conference slots every quarter. It's kind of expected (though not required) that every family will come in for first and third quarter conferences. Second and fourth quarter are on an "as needed" basis. (I've got one of each kind of student -- one where the teacher always says "I wish I had a whole classroom full of students just like..." and one where we try to cram as much as possible into the 15 minute slot.)

DS has moved up to middle school and I've gotten the impression that conferences are not wanted/expected for students who are doing well... so we're not going this year. It feels very weird!
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:38 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Social Worker Sue View Post


We did this too for our oldest foster child. He came to us in the 5th grade and still had difficulty adjusting to certain social situations well into his senior year.

I think it is great to still have conferences in high school. It really helps young adults who are not prepared for the real world as well as their peers.
Parent teacher conferences don't help kids "prepare for the real world".
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:46 AM   #50
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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.
Your poor kids! You asked the teacher about their socializing skills when they were seniors in high school? Cut the cord already! Do you have meetings planned with their college professors too, to make sure they are socializing well? And if they are not, what do you expect the teacher to do, force friends on them?

School is about academics, independence, and productivity. Why parents want to make it a social therapy circus is beyond me.

Of course the big issue is that the parents who go to the meetings are invested in their children, and usually those kids are doing well. The teacher really wants to see the parents of the kids who do not do homework, perform barely at grade level or slightly below, and act out in class. Those parents rarely show up.

I don't remember ever going to a parent-teacher meeting for my girls. Kindergarten was set up for the teacher to have a lot of daily contact if needed, and I volunteered in the elementary school and kept in contact that way.

Middle school was weaning time. As long as conduct and grades were in an appropriate range, and my girls felt safe and unthreatened, I let them deal with the school issues. I only got involved once, with a safety issue.

High school was awkward because I work there. I tried to stay away from my daughters' teachers, but they came to me with info sometimes. Unless it was a safety issue, I didn't intervene there either.

Imagine this, both girls graduated and went on to college, where they are making excellent choices without my intervention. They are invested in doing well all on their own! I haven't seen one grade from college either. They own those grades, not me. I'm not going to tell them they have to do better, or go questioning the professor as to why my kid got a certain grade. (Parents do this!)

Now, if my child was struggling in school, or I saw a sudden drop in grades, or a grade that just didn't make sense, then yes, I would go to the parent meeting. One poster mentioned seeing 'samples' of the child's work. Don't you see that when they do homework? Don't they bring home papers? That's one of the things I always did (and still do) - talking to the kids about what they discussed in school, expanding on that at home. That's our job as parents, IMO. I find the college topics very interesting and stimulating.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:50 AM   #51
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Parent teacher conferences don't help kids "prepare for the real world".
Yes! They do indeed. 100%!! That is why we needed conferences with our foster son all the way up to his senior year.

Most of his peers by his senior year were ready to go off to college and be on their own. They no longer needed conferences. But some kids still need them right to the end of their senior year.

Parent/Teacher conferences for older students (9-12) are a wonderful tool to help kids that aren't quite prepared for life without mom and dad (or mom and mom ) still fully entwined. I was thankful for them.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:53 AM   #52
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I would happily not attend. And don't call me a bad parent because I actively monitor DD's work (asking her, checking her grades on-line, etc.) She's an A student that pushes herself more than we do. If she is having an inkling of a problem, we hear about it. A lot!!

When she hit 3rd, 4th and 5th grade we went because she was having problems with other girls in the class. So I would just ask the teacher to watch out for any issues and to alert me if there was a problem. The only thing I hated about our previous school was that you didn't schedule a time, you just showed up. I was always the polite one and waited outside the classroom while the teacher was with another parent. But inevitably there were parents that would just waltz in and start eavesdropping. And yes, they would open the classroom door. DH went last year to the 6th grade one and the teacher said, "I have no comments. Here's her report card. You can leave now."

And as for kids that are having problems, my DSD lived with us for years. She has serious educational and schooling issues. We were in constant contact with the teachers. I remember going to her 4th grade conference and the teacher looked at us and said "I am so glad you guys are the last conference of the night. It's easy because we talk so much during the week that I have nothing else to say since nothing has changed since Monday." We told him it had started snowing and to head out early. Had a nice chuckle and left.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:54 AM   #53
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Now, if my child was struggling in school, or I saw a sudden drop in grades, or a grade that just didn't make sense, then yes, I would go to the parent meeting.
That is what I am assuming Tinker'n'Fun was dealing with.

I don't think any person would go to a conference for a senior just to see what was going on in his school life They would just sit down and ask their soon-to-be adult child.

But, if your child is having issues (either social or poor grades) during any high school year, I would hope that parent would go in.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:57 AM   #54
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If you don't have specific concerns about your child and their experience in the classroom, then why have a conference just so you can hear the tell you what a wonderful child you have and what a wonderful job you are doing. You obviously already know that.

Teacher: Your child is doing a great job this year, working above grade level and is a pleasure to have in class.

Parent: Why thank you.

End of conference.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:57 AM   #55
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Yes! They do indeed. 100%!! That is why we needed conferences with our foster son all the way up to his senior year.

Most of his peers by his senior year were ready to go off to college and be on their own. They no longer needed conferences. But some kids still need them right to the end of their senior year.

Parent/Teacher conferences for older students (9-12) are a wonderful tool to help kids that aren't quite prepared for life without mom and dad (or mom and mom ) still fully entwined. I was thankful for them.
We'll have to agree to disagree. A 15 min conference in no way prepares a kid for "real life". They aren't even present at the conference.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:00 AM   #56
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: Me thinks the would rather be at home doing this instead of her job.

I usually do not tattle, but I wonder if the principal is aware of this teacher's policy and agrees with it.
Wow...It couldn't possibly be that she really sees no need on her end of things and would MAYBE like to make things a little easier on her AND the OP.

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Parent teacher conferences don't help kids "prepare for the real world".
My kids are never present for the conference. So I am confused as well as to how it helps them prepare for the "real world".

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Originally Posted by Social Worker Sue View Post
Yes! They do indeed. 100%!! That is why we needed conferences with our foster son all the way up to his senior year.

Most of his peers by his senior year were ready to go off to college and be on their own. They no longer needed conferences. But some kids still need them right to the end of their senior year.

Parent/Teacher conferences for older students (9-12) are a wonderful tool to help kids that aren't quite prepared for life without mom and dad (or mom and mom ) still fully entwined. I was thankful for them.
If the kids aren't present and the parents aren't having conferences to discuss problems that need resolutions then how are they helpng "prepare the child"?
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:03 AM   #57
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I was always present with my parents for conferences they had when I was in high school, and from what I understood from my eldest's 4th grade teacher last year, they like to have students present from 4th grade on.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:03 AM   #58
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Both of my kids are good students and we attend all conferences. I'm a former teacher and my husband is a high school teacher, and we both feel that it is important to establish a home/school connection. When I was teaching, I always enjoyed meeting the parents of students who were doing well.

Our conferences are set up in ten minute increments and every parent has the opportunity to attend, so no time is taken from the parents of students who struggle. I think this teacher is trying to lighten her load.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:09 AM   #59
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We'll have to agree to disagree. A 15 min conference in no way prepares a kid for "real life". They aren't even present at the conference.
Why are you assuming that the conferences that I had with my foster son's school were only 15 minutes long?

Why are you assuming that he was not present?

I never said any of those things.

I am simply saying that when you have a child that is having trouble, sometimes a conference (or 2 or 10) during the high school years are necessary.

This particular foster son had an array of school personnel at his conferences and he also attended. They most certainly helped prepare him for the real world. He now has a full time job at a grocery store and his social skills have improved. Most of this was made possible by our school conferences.

I guess I should apologize b/c I am also assuming that Tinker'n'Fun's children also had difficulty in school and that is why she goes to conferences up until their senior year.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:13 AM   #60
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My kids are never present for the conference. So I am confused as well as to how it helps them prepare for the "real world".
Not all schools operate conferences in the same manner. I think that is the confusing part for you.
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