Parent-Teacher Conferences: Helpful or Nonessential?

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Spanish teacher Mrs. Cavanagh during a conference with one of her Spanish 3-4 students

Spanish teacher Mrs. Cavanagh during a conference with one of her Spanish 3-4 students

Anice Sogiar

Anice Sogiar

Spanish teacher Mrs. Cavanagh during a conference with one of her Spanish 3-4 students

Anice Sogiar, Staff Writer

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Students, parents, and teachers all gathered for parent-teacher conferences on  November 21 and 22 here at Gresham High School. The conferences were held in order to inform parents about their children’s grades and behavior.

  Leading up to the conferences, the questions of “are conferences damaging to teacher-student relationships?” and “are they even necessary?” arose. Many parents believe that they are not only helpful but, should be mandatory, and that they help parents stay up to date with their child’s activity at school.

  “I think that conferences should be mandatory because of how helpful they are, whether my daughter is doing great in school or is falling behind, parents need to know,” Gresham parent Sylvia Lemanski said. “And pertaining to the teacher-student relationship, student conferences should push students to have good behavior seeing that their parents are going to find out.”

  Although a majority of parents agree with conferences, many students do not. The idea of a teacher relaying information about them to a parent resulting in possible punishment is unsettling to students. Not only does this damage their relationships with their teachers but it’s unneeded, due to technology.

  “I guess I don’t really see the point, parents can check their children’s grades on ParentVUE, and email teachers and ask how they are doing in school. Conferences just cause extra stress for students not knowing what their teacher is going to say and what the consequences will be,” junior Alexis Van Dyke said.

  Not all students agree with this, conferences pushed them to do better and work harder to ensure that their teachers would have nothing negative to say, and that the meetings would only end positively. Also, teachers urge students to get needed help during conferences, and the one-one meeting environment allows students to feel more comfortable to ask questions.

  “Conferences let our parents know how we are doing in class and if we need help, if a student is afraid to talk to a teacher, conferences could urge them to do so,” said Junior Joy Jimenez, “My parents got an insight of what my grades were, and this pushed me to do better leading up to conferences.”

 

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Parent-Teacher Conferences: Helpful or Nonessential?