Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Well, I am the teacher, so I have to attend them; that’s my job. When my children were in school, yes, either my husband or I or both of us attended the conferences.
Generally speaking, kids whose parents attend conferences and have a relationship with the school do better academically. It’s good for parents to get a sense of what and how their child is doing. It’s good for students to know that their parents and teachers communicate and work together. It’s also good for students to know that their parents are involved in their lives (even though they may complain about it).
Yes, I know it’s hard for some families to make it to the meetings, and some parents are uncomfortable in schools, for a variety of reasons. I also know—from a lot of personal experience—that not every conference is a love fest. Some can be very difficult. But still, I would encourage parents to attend if at all possible.
Debra Allred, Science and Social Studies Educator at Flag View Intermediate
AS a teacher, I rarely can as I am conducting them myself, however, I contact my children’s teachers before hand and have a frank conversation about their work. I also keep in regular contact with the girls’ teachers so a conference really isn’t necessary as I am aware of what is going on at all times.
I think parent teacher conferences are either wonderful or a total waste of time, depending on the student, the parents, and the circumstances. Face to face with a parent is always a bonus. Having parents come in and make excuses for their kid is a negative. Building a plan for improvement - wonderful. The biggest drawback is that the students who’s parents you really need to talk to never show up. The straight A kid with excellent manners - their parents are there every time.
Neco J Long, works at Professionals
Just got done with one and now I am pleased as punch! My son has improved on all his skills and is doing great in all subjects where he was struggling with writing. I feel they have a lot to say about him. As for my daughter she is consistent in her effort and her grades are top notch. We get told there is no reason to meet with her teacher unless they are testing her for a higher classes and need a permission slip. Before we had to have a meeting once a week or more. We had to setup plans and get test to figure out the best way to teach them.
The meetings are to tell you where they need help and what plans to help them you need to take part in. Pay attention, ask questions, be active in your child(ren)'s education. These seemingly useless meetings could be altering the course of your child's learning.
Be an advocate for your child but also listen to what issues the child(ren)'s presenting in school. Stay open minded as kids behave much different when mom and dad are not around to lay down the law.
Your perfect angel at home can be a total monster at school. The reason is that you gained their respect but the school's staff hasn't. So if it sounds out of character don't dismiss it. Pay attention to homework and assignments. Have you see your child(ren) struggle in these areas? Is a 30 min home work assignment taking 3 hrs? Then maybe they are struggling with it and need help.
These meetings are important and it will benefit the child even if it seems stupid.
📷Paul Worlton, Formerly-single dad
Yes. If you care about your child, it is important to get the insight into a child’s daily school life that only a teacher will notice.
For example, in sixth grade, my daughter always seemed happy at home. I never had any disciplinary issues with her and her grades were average. But when I talked to her teacher, I found out that she was very isolated in class and that she sometimes shed tears for no apparent reason. It turned out that there were issues I was not aware of outside of my home and I needed to address them. I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t attended her parent-teacher conference.
📷Gill Matthews, I am a teacher and I have taught for more years than I care to think about
I don't have any children, so all my experience of parents teacher conferences is from the other side of the desk. However having been asked to answer, I will say that having parents who never turn up at parent teacher conferences is a marker for academic failure.
One of the biggest single drivers for children who do well in school, is having parents who believe in the value of education, want their children to do well, and show this by their actions
📷Chad Fuller, Consultant
when either was in school, yes (21′n 31y/o now) so, no, not currently.
Some were better’n others but it’s still important to go, C them, show them me, attempt to form a partnership, exchange contact info, hear’n B heard, offer support, request same, define roles, etc…
📷Dave Thompson, One child AspiT&G, one HFA. Lots of challenges, Aspie myself
Never missed a single one, either child, either parent.
If the teacher gets to know us, any request we make is much more likely to be granted.
And vice versa: if the teacher asks us for something, we do our best to help. I ended up teaching/tutoring a group of 4 students who were past pre-algebra, but not quite ready for algebra, 2 days a week, for a semester. She asked, I complied.
Beth Clevenger-Gitlin, former Special education teacher (1993-2012)
Every time I can get in front of my child teachers I am there. I talk to them through emails and letters also. The more contact I can have with them them the the better and they are in high school.
Bonnie Rogers Stevens, Stay at Home Mom (2003-present)
Lol! I used to. Until I found them to be utterly useless. They don’t tell me anything I don’t know, and vice versa. Even when I set them up to address a specific concern, they won’t address the concern, and if they do, they won’t follow through with decisions we discuss. (I have a child with ADD who we just started medicating, and i met with them and I told them I wanted their feedback in a few weeks and when I asked for it, they gave me nothing.) this is in a highly rated suburban school district.
I mean, I used to be a teacher. I get how busy they are, but the parents that do show up, are not the ones you need to show up. I pretty much feel like if my kid is doing ok, the P/T conference is a waste of their time.