Academic journal article College Student Journal

Quality Parent Teacher Conferences

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Quality Parent Teacher Conferences

Article excerpt

Parents and teachers must work together for the good of the child in assisting the latter to achieve more optimally. Each school day is salient in guiding the learning process. There is much to learn and individuals need to be ready for college or career high school graduation.

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Parent teacher conferences may occur at any convenient time during the school year and might be conducted at a plethora of places and times. Cell phones, e-mail, among others, have made rather immediate communication possible. Thus, the following, as examples,--may be discussed pertaining to pupil achievement and progress:

* pupil attitude toward school work

* pupil completion of assignments on time

* pupil effort put forth in learning

* pupil difficulties in achieving specific objectives such as borrowing in subtraction (Ediger and Rao, 2014).

At the annual open house event in early fall, parents have opportunities to meet the teacher of their offspring as well as observe a mini-lesson being taught. If inquiry methods are utilized, the parent may observe how this approach differs from traditional methodologies. Parents might also observe their child's work, such as a persuasive writing piece, along with other products, in a designated place.

At the annual conference, parents and the teacher can meet face to face to discuss, in-depth, a pupil's progress. Careful planning is necessary so that the parent has opportunities to truly discuss continuous progress of the child as well as identify vital problem areas. Timing needs to be such that all parents might arrive and participate at their scheduled time for the conference. Again, there are numerous avenues for problem identification and related discussions, such as

* a child's getting along well with others. Good human relations are always salient in school and in society

* the child bouncing back from intervals of failure to success. The resilience factor is highly poignant!

* the chid being responsible and punctual in meeting reasonable requirements

* the child developing feelings of empathy.

From the face to face parent- teacher conference, there are a plethora of opportunities to discuss and learn from each other (See Noddings, 2008). Thus, the teacher might learn about the goals and interests, the parent has for the child. The parent may have excessively high goals for the learner to achieve, after school, such as voice lessons, basketball practice, tutoring, dance instruction, and the list goes on. Toward the other end of the continuum, a parent might not mention any intent for the child. The teacher(s) within the conference setting may learn more about the child's home environment its affects:

* income level of the home

* the kind of involved neighborhood

* educational level of the parents

* reading materials in the house

* after school activities of the pupil (Glatthom and Fox, 1996).

Most important is to diagnose pupil difficulties in achievement. What might the pupil improve upon to do well in the school setting? The following are salient:

* borrowing in subtraction or carrying in addition

* working effectively in two step problems

* getting along well with others

* having difficulties with science vocabulary

* understanding and attaching meaning to social studies happenings (See Dewey, 1938).

Plans then need to be made on remedying each problem area.

If a portfolio has been stressed during the conference, then the parent may observe the quality of pupil completed work covering a period of time. Is there, for example, progress made in written work? Progress may also be noticed in science, reading and the language arts, mathematics, and the social studies.

It is good for parents and the teacher to learn to know each other well; the conference should be as informal as possible and yet there is work to be done and that being to communicate effectively with each other. …

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