Posts Tagged ‘Parent Teacher Meetings’

Who Should Lead the Parent-Teacher Conference?

June 1, 2016


As much as I like the logic of having your students lead the parent teacher conferences, I am grateful taht this doesn’t happen at my school. I prefer meeting with the parents without the child present.

Sometimes vital issues are raised that are not for the child’s ears.

Others such as Monica R. Martinez clearly disagree:


I can still remember the anxiety I felt when my parents went off to school for the traditional biannual parent-teacher conference like it was yesterday. The anxiety I felt was not even rational: I was a good student, I was on the honor role. So why was this so disconcerting? Probably because a set of “authority figures” were discussing and most likely, assessing, my day-to-day behavior, habits and learning strategies. They were sure to talk about what was enhancing or deterring my performance and I knew I would learn all about it later.

I recognize that the purpose of the teacher-led conference is to honor the expertise of the teacher and solidify a relationship between the parent and teacher. This ensures parents can understand and support their children academically. But there is a different, and I believe, better way for parents to learn how to support their students academically – and that is through student-led conferences.

Instead of having students stay home while their parents and teachers talk about them in the third person, have students lead the conference. The student could be prepared for the conference by the teacher through a collaborative review of their previous work and a guided reflection on the connection between their efforts and the quality of their work. The teacher could kick off the conference with an explanation of the process but move to the side or sit across the table with the parents to serve more as a facilitator than the leader. While the specific logistics and dynamics of student-led conferences vary, the basic spirit is the same: This is the student’s moment to take responsibility for their own learning.

Parent-teacher conferences were a good idea in concept but they reflect a tradition that is too centered on adults. Flipping these conferences to be student-led empowers the student and facilitates a partnership between the teacher and parents that is focused on supporting what the student identifies as her strengths and challenges in learning, not what the teacher or parent identifies for the student.


Click on the link to read Tips for Making a Parent-Teacher Relationship Work

Click on the link to read Sometimes It’s Worth Risking a Fight With a Parent

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Dealing With Difficult Parents

Click on the link to read 5 Helpful Tips for a Better Parent-Teacher Conference

Click on the link to read The Cafeteria Controversy

Schools Invite Kids to Parent-Teacher Meetings to Subdue Angry Parents

July 14, 2012

If you ever wanted evidence that some schools have a selfish mentality towards their own wellbeing over the welfare of their students, this story proves it.

It is unacceptable to use children as ‘human shields’ to protect teachers from hostile parents. This strategy puts children in the middle of a very difficult situation. Should the parents lose their temper, it can potentially harm the child psychologically.

SCHOOLS have found the perfect solution to maintain the calm during parent-teacher interview nights – bring along the student.

In a bid to quell “pushy parents” and to encourage greater student input, schoolkids are involved in the three-way discussions to highlight their main concerns.

Education experts said having the student present encourages them to be responsible for their own learning, behaviour and to reflect on their academic goals.

The principal of Corpus Christi Primary in Cranbrook, Richard Blissenden, said having students present acts as a “grounding” for some parents who might use the interview night to bombard teachers with irrelevant questions.

“It means that perhaps parents who might have been a little more over the top might not have that opportunity because their child is present,” Mr Blissenden said.

 “It emphasises we are here because we are all interested in the learning for this child.

“You can’t get distracted with issues which are off the topic. You just don’t have the time and having the child there helps to refocus.”

Click on the link to read my post, ‘Tips For Parent-Teacher Conferences‘.

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