Long lines during Parent Teacher Conferences tonight...

aprilgail

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 10, 2001
I always went every year- a lot of the teachers in middle and high school gave bonus points or free homework passes to the kids whose parents attended! Plus even though my daughter was in AP classes I wanted the teachers to know that we were invested in her education.
 

mom2rtk

Invented the term "Characterpalooza"
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
My kids went to a fairly large middle school and high school and it all worked pretty well. They did conferences up through high school.

In middle school we had appointment times. In high school, the teachers all set up in the cafeteria with stations at small tables and you could go around and wait in a short-ish line for whichever of your kid's teachers you wanted to see. I liked that they still did this in the upper grades since by then you have so few opportunities to meet and get a feel for the teachers your kids are spending so much time with.

Even if kids are high performing, it's helpful to chat with the teacher about future plans. Honestly, we got various bits of valuable information in this setting. Sometimes we had questions about the AP or dual credit program. Sometimes we had questions about stories our student had brought home. Lots of things come up.
 
  • wenrob

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2008
    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.
    Thank you for clarifying.:flower3:
     

    sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    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.
    How do you figure that? When you're watching sporting events, you'll see them do well and do not so well. There's not a report to a parent how their kid does after the game. In school, you get midterm reports, report cards, and many schools even give you the capability to see ALL of their scores. I'm guessing most of the parents who show up (again, talking MS & HS) have kids that try hard, get good grades, and generally the teachers like them. So why do the parents go? To hear how good the kids are? Ego boosting.

    ETA: Starting in MS, I want my kids starting to advocate for themselves. Don't get DW and I involved until you've tried.
     

    barkley

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=orange>If I ever have a
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2004
    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
    Read post #24. It works wonderfully.

    i see an 'open house' w/ drop in's as very different from the formal parent teacher conferences i had when i taught/attended when my kids were school age. the open house format feels much more 'meet and greet' for me vs. a set conference.
     

    tarheelmjfan

    Proud Redhead
    Joined
    May 10, 2001
    How do you figure that? When you're watching sporting events, you'll see them do well and do not so well. There's not a report to a parent how their kid does after the game. In school, you get midterm reports, report cards, and many schools even give you the capability to see ALL of their scores. I'm guessing most of the parents who show up (again, talking MS & HS) have kids that try hard, get good grades, and generally the teachers like them. So why do the parents go? To hear how good the kids are? Ego boosting.

    ETA: Starting in MS, I want my kids starting to advocate for themselves. Don't get DW and I involved until you've tried.
    I might buy what you're selling, if I hadn't experienced the travel sports circuit. I know how time consuming & expensive it is. You've mentioned a few times that your kid plays on a travel team that has played all over the country & outside the country. No parent is going to put in the time & definitely not the money that it takes to travel to these events, if they haven't been told their kid is better than most. They get validation on how good their child is at that sport every time they make a more advanced team. Due to my past experience, I also know they have people on a local level telling them how good their kid is all the time. They don't need to show up to the games to know their kid is good, but they still show up to support their child. As someone who has experienced both situations, I feel your post was both condescending & hypocritical.

    PS: Believe it or not, kids advocate for themselves all the time, even though their parents show up for parent/teacher conferences through high school. This should go without saying, but supporting your child in every step of life doesn't make them incapable of advocating for themselves.
     
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  • sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    I might buy what you're selling, if I hadn't experienced the travel sports circuit. I know how time consuming & expensive it is. You've mentioned a few times that your kid plays on a travel team that has played all over the country & outside the country. No parent is going to put in the time & definitely not the money that it takes to travel to these events, if they haven't been told their kid is better than most. They get validation on how good their child is at that sport every time they make a more advanced team. Due to my past experience, I also know they have people on a local level telling them how good their kid is all the time. They don't need to show up to the games to know their kid is good, but they still show up to support their child. As someone who has experienced both situations, I feel your post was both condescending & hypocritical.

    PS: Believe it or not, kids advocate for themselves all the time, even though their parents show up for parent/teacher conferences through high school. This should go without saying, but supporting your child in every step of life doesn't make them incapable of advocating for themselves.
    There's a lot of logic I'm not following.

    First, make up your mind. Does the parent get validation on how good their kid is when they make the team or by watching them play? Two totally different things there.
    Second, IMO, there's a difference between someone coming up to you and saying "your child is good" vs going to someone and saying "how good is my child"? Yes, we've had the former in both sports and education.
    Third, again, there are tools for the parents to see how the kids are doing in school (grades) without having to go to the school and talk to the teacher. Depending on the sport/position, that doesn't really translate. Sure, the QB may throw for three touchdowns, but how do you know how the lineman did?
    Fourth, are you claiming that by not going to P/T conferences means you don't support the child?

    Let me clarify... I'm not talking elementary aged kids. I'm referring to MS & HS. For the record, I don't think I've gone to any coach in any of the sports my kids have played and said "tell me how my child is doing".

    The teachers have our email, our cell phone numbers, our home number, and our address. If there is an issue they feel needs to be addressed or we need to be notified of, they have plenty of ways to do so. Going and meeting the teachers once year (or twice a year) does nothing for our family.

    I also threw in the advocating for themselves line in case someone thought "But I need to talk to the teacher about Jimmy's <whatever issue>".
     

    mom2rtk

    Invented the term "Characterpalooza"
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2008
    I don't think I've gone to any coach in any of the sports my kids have played and said "tell me how my child is doing".
    That's not what has to happen in a parent/teacher conference. For many who know their kids are doing well, it's more about getting to know their child's teachers when there are so few other opportunities to do so.
     

    CT Yankee

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2013
    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.
    We had our last "Class Visitation Night" in September since our youngest daughter will be graduating high school. I will miss many things about this school, but this is not one of them. That said, it is nice to meet the teachers and at least get a bit of a view into their personality and teaching style.
     

    mom2rtk

    Invented the term "Characterpalooza"
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2008
    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.
    It's surprising just how much you can learn in that short amount of time. A bad teacher can jump out at you very quickly. My son's math teacher in middle school told parents that she was learning the material every night just before the kids do. She struck me as very disorganized and I took whatever claims he made about that class very seriously. It turned out to be a very bad year, one we called his "lost year of math". Based on the information I had, I knew he needed to make up lost ground the next year and got admin help in placing him with the best math teacher available.
     
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  • monsterkitty

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2005
    It's surprising just how much you can learn in that short amount of time. A bad teacher can jump out at you very quickly. My son's math teacher in middle school told parents that she was learning the material every night just before the kids do. She struck me as very disorganized and I took whatever claims he made about that class very seriously. It turned out to be a very bad year, one we called his "lost year of math". Based on the information I had, I knew he needed to make up lost ground the next year and got help admin in placing him with the best math teacher available.
    This makes me wonder if they couldn't find a math teacher so they found a person who would fill the spot until a math teacher could be found. It is currently incredibly difficult to find math and science teachers. Actually, it's incredibly difficult to find teachers for any subject in many areas right now. I'm retiring at the end of the year and we've already reached out to universities in the state to hopefully find someone who can fill my positions. Currently the education supervisors at each of the universities we've talked to don't have anyone who will be highly qualified for both of my subjects but will encourage some to attempt to become highly qualified.
     

    mom2rtk

    Invented the term "Characterpalooza"
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2008
    This makes me wonder if they couldn't find a math teacher so they found a person who would fill the spot until a math teacher could be found. It is currently incredibly difficult to find math and science teachers. Actually, it's incredibly difficult to find teachers for any subject in many areas right now. I'm retiring at the end of the year and we've already reached out to universities in the state to hopefully find someone who can fill my positions. Currently the education supervisors at each of the universities we've talked to don't have anyone who will be highly qualified for both of my subjects but will encourage some to attempt to become highly qualified.
    That's entirely possible. And I'm sure that it was complicated by the fact that it was a newfangled integrated college prep algebra and geometry course. It really was a bad program overall. Without meeting the teacher in person I probably never would have gotten a good handle on what was happening.
     

    monsterkitty

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2005
    Just because parents do not attend school events such as conferences or sporting events does not mean they don't support their child's education. Many of our parents are working at least two jobs and are unable to attend. Heck, the company that does our school lunches won't even let their employees off to attend a parent meeting during the day without the threat of being written up and the company is in education!
     

    mjkacmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2006
    I might buy what you're selling, if I hadn't experienced the travel sports circuit. I know how time consuming & expensive it is. You've mentioned a few times that your kid plays on a travel team that has played all over the country & outside the country. No parent is going to put in the time & definitely not the money that it takes to travel to these events, if they haven't been told their kid is better than most. They get validation on how good their child is at that sport every time they make a more advanced team. Due to my past experience, I also know they have people on a local level telling them how good their kid is all the time. They don't need to show up to the games to know their kid is good, but they still show up to support their child. As someone who has experienced both situations, I feel your post was both condescending & hypocritical.

    PS: Believe it or not, kids advocate for themselves all the time, even though their parents show up for parent/teacher conferences through high school. This should go without saying, but supporting your child in every step of life doesn't make them incapable of advocating for themselves.
    What? I have twins on varsity/club soccer teams. My son has started on varsity since sophomore year, is the top scorer on both his varsity and club team. My daughter cried when she made varsity sophomore year, because she knew she’d be on the bench (or ball girl). She plays on club because the experience is the only way she will get any time off of the varsity bench (she did play more this year). We support both kids equally, and cheer for their teams. Ds plays the entire game, there are games where Dd never leaves the bench. Open houses are just for elementary, and since I had a lot of kids, the teachers all knew me, and would joke that we had 15 minutes for them to tell me how great my kids were.
     

    KMarston

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2009
    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.
    I didn’t like this. It wasn’t mandatory which was odd to me, I’d stand in a line with other parents and when it was my turn I was so uncomfortable by the line behind me that I don’t know if I’d have heard anything if there had been a problem. Basically several would say, why are you here, he’s a straight “A” student. Others would say what a great kid and great influence he was on other students. It became embarrassing! Senior year he was devistated that I didn’t go to see his teachers. I just didn’t see a reason, they all knew me, they sent nice emails during the year, scholarships had been awarded, we had chosen and been accepted to the college of his choice. I wasn’t going through it again!
     

    kiddo76

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 14, 2008
    How do you figure that? When you're watching sporting events, you'll see them do well and do not so well. There's not a report to a parent how their kid does after the game. In school, you get midterm reports, report cards, and many schools even give you the capability to see ALL of their scores. I'm guessing most of the parents who show up (again, talking MS & HS) have kids that try hard, get good grades, and generally the teachers like them. So why do the parents go? To hear how good the kids are? Ego boosting.

    ETA: Starting in MS, I want my kids starting to advocate for themselves. Don't get DW and I involved until you've tried.
    Maybe part of the reason the kids get good grades is because of their parents being involved in their education?

    My 2 siblings and I were all excellent students. It drove my mom nuts that she never got called in for conferences. Grades don't provide a complete picture of a student's performance. My brother went through school with an undiagnosed reading disability because he always got good grades. It was when he was in college studying engineering that his roommate recommended he get tested.
     

    sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    Maybe part of the reason the kids get good grades is because of their parents being involved in their education?
    But you CAN be involved in their education and not go to the P/T conference. Help them with homework. Make sure they have a good place to study. Make sure they attend school. Give them "life lessons". Show how what they're learning relates to the "real world". Showing up or not has no bearing on whether the parent is interested, involved, and should have nothing to do with getting good grades.
     

    sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    My brother went through school with an undiagnosed reading disability because he always got good grades. It was when he was in college studying engineering that his roommate recommended he get tested.
    Presumably the teachers didn't notice? If they did, why did they not inform the parents? Or do you think if your parents went to the conferences, they would have informed them then?
     

    mjkacmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2006
    Presumably the teachers didn't notice? If they did, why did they not inform the parents? Or do you think if your parents went to the conferences, they would have informed them then?
    I doubt teachers, year after year, would be like “I suspect Johnny has a learning disability, if only his parents would show up for open house so I could let them know.”
     



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