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Old 10-13-2012, 09:54 AM   #106
Emteach
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As a teacher I personally would never send an email like that. It is somewhat poorly worded and if parents want an interview they should be granted one (agree I wonder if the principal knows about this). I completely understand the time constraints of Parent Teacher Interviews but the parents of the children who are doing well deserve the exact same opportunity as the parents of students struggling. It is not simply about the grades they are recieving; knowing about peer relationships, what the students will working on, seeing the classroom, starting to develop a relationship with that said teacher are also important. Also, as a teacher having those completely positive interviews would be important too, plus there is ALWAYS somewhere a student can improve.
I would agree a thank you for your kind words but I would still like the opportunity to meet up would be an appropriate response and the teacher should understand that meeting with her/him is still important to you.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:11 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Erin1700 View Post
I think the first mention of not needing a conference was appropriate. The email was not. Clearly mom wants a conference and she deserves one just like every one else.
I went back to the OP and reread the followup email message that the teacher sent. I have to agree that while I would have appreciated the notice that my child was doing well and that I could skip the conference or phone it in if I felt the need, I would not have liked the tone.

My response probably would be to go just because I do not like to be pushed. I think that I may have responded by saying that I understood the initial message but that I looked forward to a little chat with all of my children's educators.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:23 AM   #108
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I went back to the OP and reread the followup email message that the teacher sent. I have to agree that while I would have appreciated the notice that my child was doing well and that I could skip the conference or phone it in if I felt the need, I would not have liked the tone.

My response probably would be to go just because I do not like to be pushed. I think that I may have responded by saying that I understood the initial message but that I looked forward to a little chat with all of my children's educators.
Yep, intimidation does not fly with me either. Makes me wonder if she is that way in the classroom?
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:40 AM   #109
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I don't know, I'm kind of on the fence about the teacher's email. I am a former teacher and I never thought about suggesting parents don't come to conferences because their child was a great student. No student is perfect, there is always room for improvement somewhere, even if it's just recommending books or activities outside of school to encourage a student's interests. I saw conferences as a way to see the parents and just talk to them about their kid. I always encouraged parents of struggling kids to set up an additional time with me where we could meet for longer and discuss their child more in depth.

I had a P/T conference with DD's 3rd grade teacher last night. DD is a good student and I really had no concerns about her. But I went anyway because I just wanted to touch base with her teacher and to use the time to get a better feel of the teacher. I'm glad I did go because we talked about the state testing in the spring that starts in 3rd grade. The teacher gave me a bunch of ideas of how to help DD at home prepare for the reading portion of it. These are things that we can work on outside of school to help her do well on the test. I was able to learn more about some science activities that DD really enjoyed. I also got a better sense of the teacher's expectations with certain homework assignments so I can help DD if she needs it.

Despite the teacher's recommendation, if you want to meet with her and talk to her, then you have every right to keep that appointment. Conferences are not just about how to help struggling students, but they're also about finding ways to keep challenging good students.
Great post. I think conferences are handled differently in different schools, and that is reflected in this thread. If your school/teacher simply uses the time to report what you are already seeing, then I can see why it may seem fine to skip it if all is well with your child. However, as a former 4th and 5th grade teacher, we were required to meet with every parent at least twice a year and for those parents of students who were doing well, I tried to provide info or tips to still make that time worthwhile, not just a "Good job, everything's great."

To the OP, teachers are under a lot of pressure to make sure that lower performing students improve, so I can see why this teacher may be trying to allow ample/additional time for those other conferences. But IMHO some schools/districts don't do enough to help average or above average students maximize their potential. If you feel this conference "policy" is indicative of a broader philosophy, this may be worth addressing. But if you are pleased overall with the way your child is being challenged and motivated, maybe the conference time isn't as crucial.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:44 AM   #110
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I would go assuming the best too. You have no idea what this teacher's motivations were. I see plenty of posts here assuming the worst but you don't really know.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:51 PM   #111
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Yep, intimidation does not fly with me either. Makes me wonder if she is that way in the classroom?

You're kidding me! You get that from an email with very little context other than what the OP posted.
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:00 PM   #112
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Yep, intimidation does not fly with me either. Makes me wonder if she is that way in the classroom?
"Intimidation"? How in the world do you get that from an email that says "your child is doing great and I have no issues with him/her"?
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:08 PM   #113
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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.
I agree with this comment.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:20 PM   #114
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Dear OP...Just curious....is it really Pleasant Valley and is that Pleasant Valley the one in New York? If so, I sure have a lot to say ... mainly --- run to the nearest private school you can and enroll your child. Best thing I every did.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:38 PM   #115
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No, I just made that up to protect the innocent ( or guilty). I also happen to be a Monkees fan
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:37 PM   #116
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I would have been pleased to hear that from the teacher and I would happily skip the conference.
Yep, me too.

(And I've been teaching elem. school for over 20 years now).
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:43 PM   #117
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I WISH my 5th grade teachers would do that....every single year for DD, I could recite verbatim what the teacher were going to say...literally "doing great, needs to work on spelling" -- it was pretty much expected to be at a parent/teacher conference in grade school.

In our school, in 6th grade (which is middle school here), they basically said they don't have enough time to have a conference with every single parent. If your child is doing fine & you have no concerns, please don't schedule a conference. This was the year the school was completely overcrowded (a 2nd school opened up the following year & it has never been pointed out again -- however, you CAN get squeezed out of all the time slots).

I never went to another one for her until High School and that was only because a medical situation was going to be coming up later in the year, so I wanted to get a feel for what we could do to not have her too far behind.
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:44 PM   #118
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"Intimidation"? How in the world do you get that from an email that says "your child is doing great and I have no issues with him/her"?
Sending out an email berating a parent for seeing them can be misinterpreted as nice or nasty depending on the rep. of the teacher.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:16 PM   #119
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Sending out an email berating a parent for seeing them can be misinterpreted as nice or nasty depending on the rep. of the teacher.
I can sure see how the teacher saying By the way, thank you for raising such a wonderful child, she is a pleasure. I for one sure feel intimidated.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:28 PM   #120
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Sending out an email berating a parent for seeing them can be misinterpreted as nice or nasty depending on the rep. of the teacher.

Please point out the line in the email that berated the parent? Was it the one about her child doing great or the line about raising a wonderful child?
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