The Importance of Attending Your Child's School Conference Meeting
Every year, your teacher desires to sit down with you to discuss your child's educational strengths and weaknesses. These conferences are vitally important to your child's educational growth and future.
Though these are outdated stats, they show the most recent stats on this topic, nationally:
The majority of parents (nationally) do attend Parent/Teacher conferences. For Yamhill Carlton School District, we averaged that about 40% did not attend conference this year (a rough estimate based on individual reports from teachers that submitted their stats). Though more parents did attend, 40% is still a pretty large percent (nearly half of all parents), which is why we would like to emphasis why it is important to attend. Not only is it showing support for your child (children), it also helps keep the communication between parent and teacher strong. A common complaint a district receives is lack of communication, but that is a two way street.
The Effect of Parent Involvement on Students:
Higher grades and test scores, enrollment in more advanced programs.
Grade promotions, earn more credits.
Better school attendance and homework completion rates.
Improved social skills and behavior allows students to acclimate better to school environments.
1. Show your child that you care: When children know that their parents care about their education they feel more encouraged to do their best, says North Carolina mom Kassandra Watson.
"Whether your child wants you there or not, go there because you know that they do need you," says Watson, whose son Morris graduated from Heritage High School in Wake Forest last year. Watson is also the president of the Parent-Teacher-Student Association at Heritage.
"They might not voice it, but they do need you and they do appreciate you coming," she says.
Penrice, the Pennsylvania teacher, finds that the students of parents who are involved and come to parent-teacher conferences are typically the students who do well in school.
"Their parents are going to know early on if they are not doing well," she says. "They can't hide it real easy when the parent is involved."
2. Improve communication between parents and teachers: The in-person meetings can help parents put a face to a name, Penrice says, and establish a relationship.
Establishing those relationships early has been important for Michigan mom of three Alison Schwartz. Her middle son William, 17, is a senior at Groves High School in Beverly Hills. Although her son is doing well in school, she still regularly attends parent-teacher conferences.
"It's just a way that the teacher kind of gets to know you," she says. "And if there are any problems in the future, you kind of feel like you know them."
"If you show that you want your child to learn, you want your child to do well, then the teacher is going to work harder to make sure that happens," says Watson, the North Carolina mom.
[Get tips on having successful parent-teacher conferences.]
3. Learn something new about your child: Parent-teacher conferences can be a time to discuss academic or behavioral issues, or give teachers the opportunity to tell parents something new about their child.
"Sometimes they can give insight into an area of study that your kid maybe could improve on or books that would be useful for them," says Schwartz, the mom in Michigan.
Penrice says teachers can alert parents if their child is struggling in the meetings, so that they are not blindsided when report cards come home.
"They happen earlier enough on in a marking period that issues could be addressed," she says, of the date of conferences at her school.
Schwartz says that she thinks teachers appreciate it when parents come to conferences.
"They spend so many hours with your child," she says. "I think it is just kind of respectful to go to conferences." [Cited from https://www.usnews.com].
YC makes sure to provide flexible times for parents to meet with teachers during conference week. This way even working parents are able to schedule and get in to meet with the teacher. We received great feedback this year on ways to make this process even better for all parents, and we will make sure to apply those changes for the next conference week.
Thank you to those parents who attended the conferences! Please make sure to provide any additional feedback directly to teacher, so we can better serve both student and parent.