12.19.2009

Parent Teacher Conferences and Report Cards

This week was Parent-Teacher Conference week at school. During conferences, report cards are distributed and you have a few minutes to talk with your child's teacher about the year.

A few minutes.

Conferences are scheduled 10 minutes apart. Just 10 minutes to talk about the entire year so far. It's not much time.

One of my girls had terrific marks and excellent behavior. The conference was a breeze.

The other had terrific marks - but a behavior issue. And 10 minutes isn't much time to have that conversation.

I'm conflicted because I understand that the time that teachers have to discuss issues with parents is limited. But I also understand that communication is so important. 10 minutes just isn't much time.

Another parent standing outside of the school had the same experience. Literally grabbed a report card and got a "he's doing great!" from one teacher. But her other child had some serious issues that needed to be addressed. And she only had 10 minutes.

You're supposed to be able to discuss your kids outside of those times by making appointments to see teachers. But not all teachers are as accessible as others. And so far, it's been my experience that the ones that make themselves the most accessible aren't the ones that I need to see.

We're trying to sort out all of the information that we received (as limited as it is) and make some decisions over the break. I just wish we felt like we had more time to talk with the teacher.

(BTW, the principal is a whole other story. At our school, the principal is always available.)

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