Long lines during Parent Teacher Conferences tonight...

marcyleecorgan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
We have both open houses and an appointment app that is like FP+ haha
I will tell DH that, maybe it will make him laugh
 

js

Been around since before the disboards 90s crash
Joined
Jan 18, 2000
My kids are older and in college or out of grad school and I can tell you I use to treat the Parent Teacher conferences like RD.
I would most certainly always get there about 15 minutes or so before the scheduled time and when I was first, the teacher would just start. Sometimes I would get there early and the teachers were already starting to see parents. So next year, or semester, just get there early and maybe you will be in/out.
 

KayaWildfire

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Makes me really like how our high school and middle school does conferences. Every teacher has a table in the gym and you can go meet anyone you like at your own pace during conference hours. They will print off your child's schedule for you if you are unsure of the names of teachers and provide a map of table locations.
 
  • Searc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2018
    Makes me really like how our high school and middle school does conferences. Every teacher has a table in the gym and you can go meet anyone you like at your own pace during conference hours. They will print off your child's schedule for you if you are unsure of the names of teachers and provide a map of table locations.
    Ours was similar in that we got a copy of our child's schedule (in high school, elem and MS were appointments) so we knew their teachers and the teachers stayed in their rooms and basically had an open house. Hours were from this time to this time, covering both afternoons and evenings for parents that worked 2nd or 3rd shift and you could stop in at your convenience
     

    Turn the Page

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2013
    We had conferences last night too. We met with all DD13's core teachers but one. Her history teacher is a basketball coach and wasn't there. We spoke to each teacher for a few minutes and discussed her progress and recommended classes for next year already. Some teachers had a sign in sheet to track who came but there were no appointments or sign up sheets. You just waited your turn at each classroom. I think we waited for a grand total of 5 minutes all night.

    We did have an.....interesting interaction with DD's french teacher. There is a decent chance she had been drinking before conferences. I had this woman for 4 years in high school and we butted heads a bit and I was worried when DD said she wanted to take french because DD doesn't deal with harsher personalities well but she needs to learn to deal with people she doesn't particularly like so I let her give it a shot and it's going well so far. Anyway, we were there talking to her teacher and she said she didn't remember DH in school and he said that was because he took Spanish and she smirked and said 'you took that third world language." I just sat there dumbfounded and wracked my brain trying to remember if the school had added a third foreign language to the curriculum but no, she really said that. I couldn't believe it.
     

    wenrob

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2008
    For parent/teacher in grade school they sent home sheets with lists of preferred times and a space to name siblings. Then the teachers would contact each other with this info and do their best to schedule the kid’s conferences in the same time frame. It worked really well IF you got the forms in day one and IF everyone was paying attention. In five years I think we only had to split them up once. It was real handy the two years they had the same teacher/s.
    We don't get individual conferences, we get the night where you follow your kids schedule and each class is 12 minutes. Which is barely enough time for the teacher to introduce themselves and say a little about their class rules etc. There is no time for any individual conversations about my kids in particular. I go to them, and they are certainly efficient (unless you have 2 kids in the same school in which case you have to pick only one kids teachers to meet) but I'm not sure they're really that helpful.
    This is how it’s been in middle school. It helps that my kids are in the same grade and sometimes have the same teachers in common. I sit down with their schedules and make a chart- teachers they have in common, teachers we’ve met in the past (so can skip or do a drive by) location of classes etc.- then tackle from there. If my DH or older DD are available we tag team. Generally we manage to hit all twelve classes or at least make an appearance.

    We don’t really have individual conferences in middle school unless there’s an issue. In that case you’d email the teacher or they’d email you and you set something up. I try to keep an eye on my kids grades and push them to handle the situation on their own. So far we haven’t had to have one.
     

    scrump

    <font color=royalblue>so the decision has been mad
    Joined
    Oct 3, 2003
    All I can add is good for you for going to your child's teacher conferences!
    I know that, from your description, it feels like some of your time is being wasted, but I feel that overall your being there is time well spent. It's just good parenting on your part for attending, even though it might not be a particularly efficient use of your time.
    Thank you. Really. I did not expect to hear this, but I appreciate you taking the time to voice this and to share it. I think we parents do a lot, and though we understand our efforts as our duty and do not expect recognition, it is really nice to hear once in a while.:flower3:
     
  • Hikergirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2016
    When my kids were in elementary school they had a parents night somewhere in the beginning of October and we'd sign up for an appointment time for the November conferences.
    Maybe you'd end up waiting a few minutes for yours but it always seemed to run pretty smoothly.
     

    Minnesota!

    Shoeless in Minnesota
    Joined
    Sep 15, 1999
    One school does sign-up genius, one school does, you go the classroom and wait in line. 5 minutes for each conference at this school (15 for the sign-up genius one).

    Both seem to work well, but with the first one, you at least know how long you are going to wait.
     

    scrump

    <font color=royalblue>so the decision has been mad
    Joined
    Oct 3, 2003
    My kids are older and in college or out of grad school and I can tell you I use to treat the Parent Teacher conferences like RD.
    I would most certainly always get there about 15 minutes or so before the scheduled time and when I was first, the teacher would just start. Sometimes I would get there early and the teachers were already starting to see parents. So next year, or semester, just get there early and maybe you will be in/out.
    This is normally how I would do it as well. However, our school doesn't allow you into the building until the exact time conferences start and at that point it's a stampede to 1) sign into the building and then 2) go to your kid's classroom.

    I find this especially ridiculous after reading these responses - sounds like other schools have it together. I will have to point this out to the administration.
     

    mjkacmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2006
    For parent/teacher in grade school they sent home sheets with lists of preferred times and a space to name siblings. Then the teachers would contact each other with this info and do their best to schedule the kid’s conferences in the same time frame. It worked really well IF you got the forms in day one and IF everyone was paying attention. In five years I think we only had to split them up once. It was real handy the two years they had the same teacher/s.

    This is how it’s been in middle school. It helps that my kids are in the same grade and sometimes have the same teachers in common. I sit down with their schedules and make a chart- teachers they have in common, teachers we’ve met in the past (so can skip or do a drive by) location of classes etc.- then tackle from there. If my DH or older DD are available we tag team. Generally we manage to hit all twelve classes or at least make an appearance.

    We don’t really have individual conferences in middle school unless there’s an issue. In that case you’d email the teacher or they’d email you and you set something up. I try to keep an eye on my kids grades and push them to handle the situation on their own. So far we haven’t had to have one.
    My poor DH, for the past few years I’ve sent him to HS open house alone. Last year we had 3 kids, so I checked out their schedules, eliminated the teachers their older siblings had, eliminated the ones they had together or at least the same class at a different time, and eliminated gym. I gave him the combined schedule and sent him on his way. I think I have 10 years of HS open houses, and I’m done (DH likes to chat, so he doesn’t mind as much).
     
  • smiths02

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2009
    Yup that was what I meant. They've stopped doing parent/teacher conferences at all and have moved to the open house system, which is more efficient but I don't think necessarily better.

    We can always call up an individual teacher and set up a meeting if we'd like, but it would never be on an evening and there's no way I could get all 7 teachers to meet with me on the same day, which would make the process of doing it myself pretty complicated schedule wise.
    That is what is it like here, but if you had a very pressing concern, you can get a meeting with all the teachers arranged by the school counselor or assistant principal
     

    monsterkitty

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2005
    So is it "bad parenting" if you don't attend?

    We haven't been to a parent/teacher conference since the kids were in elementary. The MS offers them, I can't remember about the HS (doubtful). The teachers all have our contact information. I would hope if there is an issue we need to address, they'd let us know. If there is no issue, then meeting at a parent/teacher conference is nothing more than ego stroking "Yes, little Jimmy/Suzy is a joy to have in class, you should be proud of how you raised them."
    In my middle school, we have two nights of conferences both in the Fall and Spring from 4:30-9:00 pm.

    It is very rare that we actually see parents that we really need to see at conferences. We changed our format a few years ago to doing "targeted" conferences for kids we really need to see for the first 2.5 hours. We call and set a conference time and all the teachers will attend that conference so we can all give input at the same time. It's important not only for the parents, but also for us as teachers so we can see what works and what doesn't work for particular students. Unfortunately, though, most of the parents who do agree to a time for the conference do not show up.

    The last two hours of conferences we do walk up conferences in the gym and parents can go at their own pace. The majority of these parents do not really need to attend because their children are doing just fine and it is a deserved ego boost. (editing because I meant to say deserved ego boost but fingers weren't listening to brain)


    In the Spring we mainly sit there in the gym at throw paper at each other because hardly anyone comes to either the targeted conferences or the walk up.
     
    Last edited:

    wenrob

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2008
    *snip*
    The last two hours of conferences we do walk up conferences in the gym and parents can go at their own pace. The majority of these parents do not really need to attend because their children are doing just fine and it is an ego boost.


    In the Spring we mainly sit there in the gym at throw paper at each other because hardly anyone comes to either the targeted conferences or the walk up.
    Really? This is what you think of parents who show?
     

    barkley

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=orange>If I ever have a
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2004
    Wow, really? Our district has them all the way through high school.
    i can't imagine how this could be effectively managed. it's one thing in elementary when a teacher has a single classroom of students (and maybe one pullout subject period of different kids) to do individual conferences on all of them but in high school? a smallish single period class size of 20 students for a teacher in the normal 6 period instructional day (they get 1 period for prep time) would mean 120 students. to do anything more than what could be more effectively communicated by an email takes what? let's say 20 minutes minimum so even if a teacher could schedule them back to back with not even a minute between starting and stopping one to the next would mean 3 per hour for a total of 40 solid hours of conferencing, that's either more than a week of full time school days off for the students or as in the case of our district-endless early releases.
     

    OneOftheB's

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2015
    I love how my kids' school does conferences. Kids are sent home with a time/day and if that works, you sign the form and send it back knowing you are on the schedule. If that day/time don't work, a sign up genius is sent out for the remaining times/days. The conferences are scheduled for 30 minutes, but rarely go that long. Often the teachers have used it as a time to get parent feed back or to ask for assistance with upcoming events or issues in the classroom. My son's conference was about 10 minutes long (middle schooler), my daughter's was longer, but mostly because we were discussing future classroom events (I'm a room mom for her class).
     

    monsterkitty

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2005
    Really? This is what you think of parents who show?
    Actually I typed it in a hurry and not what I meant. I shouldn't multi task while eating lunch. The person I quoted said it was nothing more than ego stroking. My brain was saying it's a well-deserved "ego boost" but that's not what my fingers typed. I teach low-income kids. Any time we can build on their self-esteem, or any child's self-esteem, I say go for it. All they hear is how bad teens are these days. They need to hear how great they are.
     

    Toolulu22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2015
    We had middle school Parent Teacher Conferences tonight.

    In our school, the process is super inefficient - it's a sign up sheet outside the individual teacher's classrooms. It's inefficient because teachers don't always cross off who they've seen already, or worse they don't go by the list and just usher in the next family they see outside their classroom. In any event, it's hard to track when you're actually due. In my case, I have multiple teachers to meet so I feel pressure to fit in other subject teachers while I wait for the ones with long lines, but I hesitate to wander off because I don't want to miss being called and then risk losing my chance to speak with them. I am taking time off work so want to grab all of them while I can.

    Anyway, all this to say, my one overriding thought tonight was: "I wish they had fastpasses, so I knew when to come back." Forget the importance of a child's education. I kept thinking of fastpasses.

    I am not sure if I can make it until my April 2020 trip.
    We actually had something like that at the school I began teaching in that some teachers used. Parents could sign up online for a timeslot to meet with the teachers that used the online scheduler and then plan out their evening.

    There were still a lot of issues though. If a parent missed their time- it was hard to fit them in later and they would still have to wait- or be annoyed about not being able to see you (even though they were late). The other thing that would throw things off is if a meeting went longer than the 3 minutes time slot (or whatever they got). Boy- the parents would be angry at teachers who could not keep to their own schedule. Overall, I think it was a good idea for schools where there are many parents attending.

    At the school I teach in now I’m lucky if I see 10 parents the whole time, usually its half that. I now just get a lot of work done during that time.
     

    tarheelmjfan

    Proud Redhead
    Joined
    May 10, 2001
    So is it "bad parenting" if you don't attend?

    We haven't been to a parent/teacher conference since the kids were in elementary. The MS offers them, I can't remember about the HS (doubtful). The teachers all have our contact information. I would hope if there is an issue we need to address, they'd let us know. If there is no issue, then meeting at a parent/teacher conference is nothing more than ego stroking "Yes, little Jimmy/Suzy is a joy to have in class, you should be proud of how you raised them."
    I'm sure you also don't attend your kid's sporting events, since that would be nothing more than ego stroking on your part.
     

    Searc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2018
    i can't imagine how this could be effectively managed. it's one thing in elementary when a teacher has a single classroom of students (and maybe one pullout subject period of different kids) to do individual conferences on all of them but in high school? a smallish single period class size of 20 students for a teacher in the normal 6 period instructional day (they get 1 period for prep time) would mean 120 students. to do anything more than what could be more effectively communicated by an email takes what? let's say 20 minutes minimum so even if a teacher could schedule them back to back with not even a minute between starting and stopping one to the next would mean 3 per hour for a total of 40 solid hours of conferencing, that's either more than a week of full time school days off for the students or as in the case of our district-endless early releases.
    Read post #24. It works wonderfully.
     



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