Parent Teacher Conferences- Why?

It is the time of year when schools begin having their last parent teacher conference. At one time, my school system had parent teacher conferences after school usually from three to five o’clock. Now, parent teacher conferences are held during the day and children do not attend school. The conference is held from twelve until six o’clock. No matter when your school holds parent teacher conferences, it is important for parents and teachers to meet. Teachers should encourage parents to attend and parents should make every effort to be there.

Over the years of teaching, I have heard numerous comments made by teachers about parent teacher conferences. Some teachers feel that it is a burden to meet with parents. Some have even told parents of ‘good’ students that they had no reason to attend. Every student is worth a conference whether you are relaying good or bad reports.

I personally enjoy the conferences. I like getting background information about my students and learning where they come from and whom they go home to each night. I only see the children for a fraction of the hours each day. You may be surprised to learn what some children do when they are not at school. Learning a child’s history and meeting the parents can be a real eye opener for why some children behave the way they do at school.

Parent teacher conferences are important in developing good communication between home and school. Teachers should not wait until a county wide scheduled conference time to talk with parents. If an issue arises, the teacher should schedule a conference with the parent even if it is not the official conference time. Teachers should also try to keep good communication with parents by sending home news letters about upcoming events and new learning.

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