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Parent Teacher Conference WWYD?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Tinijocaro, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Tinijocaro

    Tinijocaro DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
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  3. Mickey'snewestfan

    Mickey'snewestfan DIS Veteran

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    I think that a teacher's job includes knowing her students well enough to be able to discuss all of them, and that the email isn't acceptable.

    I'd probably write back and say something along the lines of "I appreciate your offer, and needless to say I'm pleased that she's doing so well. However, I believe that a strong home-school connection has been a key to her success, and therefore I'm looking forward to a chance to see some work samples and hear about how you intend to challenge her this year. I look forward to seeing you on (date) at (time)."
     
  4. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    I think that she is trying to open up more time to meet with the parents whose kids need more help and intervention. Give yourself a nice pat on the back that's not you.
     
  5. Tinker'n'Fun

    Tinker'n'Fun <font color=purple>"apple", peaches, "pumpkin pie"

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    :thumbsup2: Me thinks the :teacher: would rather be at home doing this :happytv: 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.
     
  6. DVCLiz

    DVCLiz <font color=00cc00>That's me - proud defender of t

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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.
     
  7. Zooshoveller

    Zooshoveller WAR EAGLE

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    I can understand if she has other children that really need p/t conferences to deal with problems, maybe she has a full after school schedule, maybe from past experiences this is best, maybe it's something the principal has asked, but that email could have been worded better than that. Very tacky.

    She might really think she is doing you a favor, but it's still tacky.
     
  8. Janepod

    Janepod <font color=royalblue>The new dinning plan is out.

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    She's probably trying to schedule two dozen or more conferences into a limited time frame and focus on the problem/struggling students.
     
  9. Luv Bunnies

    Luv Bunnies DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  10. Maryr1

    Maryr1 DIS Veteran

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    I think she is doing every one a big favor-the door is open, she is telling you she is open to hear from you but wants you to know your child is doing well, she is opening up more time for other parents who have children who are challenged and she is giving you more time to meet with your other childrens teachers if you need it. In our district, there are many different buildings, on and off campus and the meet the teacher times are all the same so you may need to be in two places on the same night. Having a teacher give you a "pass" would be fabulous! If you feel she is a good teacher and not shirking her duties I would thank her and move on. I have a child who struggles and am in frequent contact with her teacher (read almost every day) and when meet the teacher time came she told us we could skip as we had "met" more than enough!!!! It was a night I gratefully used at home to get caught up. I did not feel slighted in the least. After that first time, I frequently suggested it to the teachers and it was always gratefully recieved for all the reasons noted above. Be proud and happy that your child is doing well and you are doing a great job!
     
  11. smitch425

    smitch425 DIS Veteran

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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. :rotfl: 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.
     
  12. Rylee

    Rylee DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  13. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

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    I would probably meet with her anyway if the time was not an issue. However, if it was something I had to take time off work for and there was nothing I needed to discuss, I'd happily skip it and save the time off for attending another school event.
     
  14. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

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    I don't expect the teacher to really know my child at this point in the school year. It is, however, a good time to give her any key information she should know.
     
  15. hereyago

    hereyago DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  16. Hannathy

    Hannathy <font color=darkorchid>When I stop laughing I will

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    I totally agree! She has told you your child is doing great and is above grade level. What else do you want her to tell you. Do you really need anymore "atta girls" you did a great job with your DD? Why not let the teacher use your minutes for a student who really needs help and problems to discuss with their parents.


    I used to walk into my DD's conferences and say "are you going to say anything different than she is a great student, needs to not talk so much, write neater and keep her desk neater, let me know, other wise we can save each other time and you can go take a bathroom break!"

    Most took me up on it.
     
  17. brockash

    brockash DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  18. brockash

    brockash DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  19. Mandy_in_NC

    Mandy_in_NC Mouseketeer<br><font color=red>My name is Mandy an

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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!
     
  20. Tinker'n'Fun

    Tinker'n'Fun <font color=purple>"apple", peaches, "pumpkin pie"

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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.
     
  21. PrincessBelle39

    PrincessBelle39 DIS Veteran

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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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