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Parent Teacher Conferences (high school) Limited to 5 minutes

toledotoledo Registered User Posts: 4,821 Senior Member
edited November 2012 in Parents Forum
Just returned from our first parent teacher conferences. All the teachers sat in alphabetical order around a big room. Every five minutes a bell would go off and you had to get up and leave. Is this crazy or what? My son attended another high school where we met in the teacher's classrooms for 15 minutes. It was private and gave you enough time to discuss any issues. How are your conferences?
Post edited by toledo on

Replies to: Parent Teacher Conferences (high school) Limited to 5 minutes

  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 31,806 Super Moderator
    I went to my kids' HS conferences yesterday. The teachers were arranged the way you describe. No bell. I would have preferred that! You just had to stand and wait your turn. You had no idea if the conference before yours would last five minutes or 20. I tried to limit each of mine to five minutes, since people were waiting. Even though my son has serious issues, I felt that was time enough. I also had to talk to my daughter's teachers - those conferences were fun, since she is a hard worker and a happy kid. I was exhausted after an hour and a half. I can't imagine how the teachers stand it for two four-hour sessions.

    It used to be different. You'd sign up for 15-minute conferences. I didn't like that, because you could never get your times back to back. It took forever to see all the teachers, especially with two kids.
  • megpmommegpmom Registered User Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    Our HS doesn't even have parent-teacher conferences. Not enough parents ever showed up. I think you can request one, if needed. Or I suppose they can request one if your kid is failing. But, after 10 years with kids at some HS - I've never had one. Emails suffice for me. Beats taking a day off work!
  • glowormgloworm Registered User Posts: 2,383 Senior Member
    The school I work at now has us each in our classroom, conferences are private. At the beginning of each session (2.5 hrs. each) there is an announcement asking parents to limit their visit to 5 minutes, and to make an appointment if they feel the need for more time.

    At my previous school, we were as described in the OP. We all were given a 3-minute sand glass. When it was empty, time was up, glass was flipped, next parent came.

    First school is public, second private.
  • toledotoledo Registered User Posts: 4,821 Senior Member
    3 minutes! I was thinking it wasn't worth my time to drive to the school for 5 minutes. The 5 minute school is a private school, whereas the 15 minute school is public.
  • stradmomstradmom Registered User Posts: 4,673 Senior Member
    Sounds like speed dating! I guess it would be ok for a quick check-in....there's research that shows we make accurate judgments based on "thin slice" data. (Really, it doesn't take long for the teacher to say "Junior is doing really well in the class and has done all of the assignments, but I would like her to participate more in class discussions" and for the parent to say "Junior is really enjoying your class. That discussion of Renaissance painting last week inspired a great dinner table conversation.") But I hope there's also openness to holding longer meetings for those who want or need them.
  • SteveMASteveMA Registered User Posts: 6,079 Senior Member
    Our conferences it's suggested that you only meet for 5 minutes and honestly, that is more than enough time to touch base with the teachers, which is really what these are for. They have signs saying if you need more time to make an appointment. We don't have a bell, it's just on the 'honor' system.
  • beth's mombeth's mom Registered User Posts: 3,361 Senior Member
    Our parent/teacher conferences were cancelled this year. In prior years when they've had them, they're held in the teacher's classroom and they're 5 minutes long. Each parent has a scheduled time (you book your appointment online in advance), and there is a bell. It takes longer to run from classroom to classroom than it does to have the conference. They provide an opportunity to put a name with a face, but not a whole lot more.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,775 Senior Member
    Our kids' HS didn't have conferences either, only an "open house." You would have your kid's schedule and go from one class to the next, with all the other parents. I think the entire evening was about 2 hours so think we only spent about 20 minutes or so per class. The teachers made a brief presentation and sometimes had the kids' work on display. If you wanted or needed a conference, you had to set up a separate appointment for a different time & date. The last time our kids had conferences was in grade school. Those were about 15-20 minutes, I believe.
  • takeitallintakeitallin Registered User Posts: 3,324 Senior Member
    We haven't had teacher conferences since grade school either. We have a back to school nite each year as described by HImom. At that time, the teachers give us phone numbers and email adresses so we can contact them if we have issues. I haven't had any reason to meet with my son's high school teachers. We have Zangle so can track grades, scores, attendance at all times. My son handles any problems with teachers (I don't know of any). I guess if I had an issue I would set up an individual meeting with the teacher.
  • sakacarsakacar Registered User Posts: 273 Junior Member
    FWIW, this is the norm. Email your student's teachers and request a conference. We're happy to meet with you, and can often arrange to stagger meetings on one day so that you can see all of the teachers painlessly.

    Teachers don't like this system any better than parents do, and we are happy to focus on one student for a longer time on a different day.

    Email us. Really, we are fine with that.
  • surfcitysurfcity Registered User Posts: 1,949 Senior Member
    Our conferences are 15 minutes long - you schedule online and you can pick which teachers to see. If your kid has had the same language teacher twice, you might not want to see her again.

    I feel like 15 min is great, but it could be longer. How can you get anything accomplished in 5 minutes? I like to go over where my kid is in terms of the subject, and then the teacher often will make recommendations on what class he should take next year or things to think about for the rest of the year, etc.

    This is in a public school. My D is in a boarding school (day student) and there are no conferences. You aren't even supposed to contact the teachers which is such a difference from the public schools where there is a lot of email communication.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,444 Senior Member
    i never went to high school parent teacher conferences and our high school didn't even have them until a few years ago, but if you need to talk to one of the teachers about something specific, I'm sure you could schedule time to meet with them. I've never encountered a teacher yet, who wasn't willing to meet with a parent if the parent requested time to talk.
  • reeinazreeinaz Registered User Posts: 1,531 Senior Member
    At my son's school, you just meet with your kid's advisor. Each appt is blocked for 20 minutes. For the 1st and 3rd marking periods, the teachers all write narrative reports in addition to the letter grade so you can really see what's going on with your kid. The teachers are always available if you need to speak to them in depth about anything. I usually contact them via email and discuss any issues.
  • SteveMASteveMA Registered User Posts: 6,079 Senior Member
    Honestly, we don't go to find out how our kids are doing, we can do that with the online gradebook, we go to meet the teachers so we know if the kids are complaining that their Spanish teacher is a dolt, we know to believe them or not :D
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,775 Senior Member
    I had ONE teacher of S's that scheduled a conference with us to tell us how disappointed she was with him. She said his great verbal scores didn't match up with the writing he turned in for her class (he is one of those people who really DON'T produce if they can't stand the teacher). I said as politely as I could that creative writing is NOT his strength and never has been (he's a math/science person) and unfortunately tends to write very tersely and concisely (though in perfectly standard English). They never got along & he got a C in that course. I never had any other conferences, except with the school administration about our kids' prolonged health-related absences. Those were very painful for all of us--would have been happy not to have had those. Did like the open houses, to meet the instructors but didn't really have a need to talk with them.
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