Do you or did you always attend parent/teacher interviews?

Canada
February 8, 2007 10:30am CST
Our high school has an open-door policy about parent/teacher interviews. The middle school teachers are seated at tables in the lower gym and the high school teachers do the same thing in the cafeteria. Parents and guardians stroll around and sit with the teachers they want to see, as they become available. One of my daughters is in a specialized program where there are only 4 teachers for that program and you do have to make an appointment. They give every parent/guardian exactly 7 minutes. The thing is, both of my daughters are academically motivated and get really good grades in school. I'm always torn about whether or not I should attend these interviews. I mean, I am interested to discuss their progress with their teachers, when given the chance, but I also feel I'm taking time away from parents whose children might be having trouble in school. My husband says I shouldn't feel like that and the interviews are open to all. My mom used to tell me that she would see our teachers, when we were young, even though we had no problems either. She said teachers would often remark that they were happy that the parents of the children doing well actually cared enough to come by. How do you feel? Do you attend voluntarily or only if the teacher(s) ask to see you? If you happen to be a teacher, do you want to see the parents of the kids who are doing fine? All insights appreciated :)
2 people like this
6 responses
@simplysue (631)
• United States
8 Feb 07
I always went when my son was little. Then I dated a high school teacher for awhile and he said that the only parents he sees at the parent/teacher conferences are the parents of children who do well. The parents he doesn't need to see. My son does very well in school so I would only go now if the teacher requested it.
2 people like this
• Canada
8 Feb 07
That's my concern in a nutshell, simplysue. I want the teachers to know that I DO care about how my children fare in school, not only in grades and report cards but also in socialization and behavior... but I don't want them to see me coming and think, "What is SHE doing here???!"
@aidonia (4210)
• Greece
8 Feb 07
Keep the good work Joe and my your mammy always proud.
@villageanne (8554)
• United States
8 Feb 07
I did attend Teacher conferences when my daughters were in school. They always made "A,s" but I felt that the kids knew that I cared enough about their grades and their classes to go and see their teachers. I also liked to get a feel for the teachers who were spending alot of time with my children. After they were grown they told me that it ment alot to them that I went to show my support to them.
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Feb 07
That's really a great point... sometimes the evaluation is as much about the teacher(s) as it is about the student! I also agree that we have to give them positive reinforcement... encouragement shouldn't be reserved for those needing to improve, right? It should also be offered because they're doing well :) Thanks, as always, for your thoughts, villageanne!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Feb 07
Thanks for "Best Response"
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@thea09 (18327)
• Greece
7 Oct 09
Hi thiningoutland, I always attend on parents day as it is when we go in to collect the childs grades from the teacher, but also see the teachers socially as well as a few of them are friends, so I'm always kept up to date. We are expected to attend to collect the grades and the children would feel bad if we didn't turn up as they are always proud of their achievements and everyone will know it is grade day and ask how they got on.
1 person likes this
• Canada
7 Oct 09
Hi thea09! I would absolutely attend in all cases if we were required to collect their grades in that manner. The report cards are actually sent home to us, though. It's funny that you should respond to this today. It's actually Academic Awards day at the high school and I couldn't attend It used to be an event in the evening and that was all well and good. Suddenly and without warning, they've changed it to take place at 1PM on a weekday and I can't be available for that. It makes me sad because my daughter generally always wins some awards and I want to be there to cheer for her, you know? Sometimes, the school makes some decisions that are very unpopular and very difficult for the parents. Not everyone can be available in the middle of a work day :(
@wahmbuddy (392)
• Canada
14 Feb 07
I do try to attend the first meeting of the year to meet the teacher and see how things are going. After that I only go in if the teacher requests I do. I am in constant contact with my teachers and teaching assistants on a daily basis, so I pretty much know what's going on.
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Feb 07
Oh absolutely, wahmbuddy - some parents do have more regular contact with the teaching staff, depending on the needs of their child(ren) and individual learning plans. Many might never even need to attend the interviews. I'm always surprised, though, by the parents who can go through the entire school year and never once go to the school themselves - not to meet with teachers, or the office staff, or even to attend school functions. I know a few families that are like this (mostly "out of sight, out of mind" type folks) and I can't imagine being that way. I feel I'd be sending my kids a message that I absolutely don't care... and that would be sad.
• United States
8 Feb 07
What a sweet mom you are for bringing this question to a public forum! My advice would be to ask your daughters what they want you do do. Some children: "OMG, it's soooo embarrassing when they go to school and meet with my teacher and I can't stand it!"; while other children: "I wish my mom cared enough about me to go to school and meet with my teacher." Just ask and really listen and watch their expressions as they give you their answers. You will know what they want. If they truly don't want/need you to make a public appearance/declaration, send a note to their teachers asking them to keep you aware, either through mail, email, note, or phone calls if theire are any changes in grades, behavior, etc. that need to be addressed. ~Donna
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Feb 07
Awww thanks ;) I just really care about my daughters' educations because, to me, it's the greatest gift I can ever give them. I want to be involved but not to the point of getting detrimental or bothersome, you know? I think you raise a good point in saying that I'd get a LOT more out of their body language than their actual verbal answers. My husband and I try to stay as accessible as possible to their teachers, volunteering if and when we can, and letting them know our phone and email are always open. But then I somehow still feel the need to "put in my appearance" LOL Crazy, what I do as a mom sometimes ;)
@aidonia (4210)
• Greece
8 Feb 07
My son is just 11 years old and i still go to him school to parents/teacher interviews.They are every first Friday of the month but i can't understand why the more of the parents didn't come.Me i don't loose even one meeting.
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