Article by: Akshay Sharathchandra
It’s that time of the year again – Parent-Teacher Conference (PTC) month. This week, students will be dismissed early to give their parents the opportunity to meet with their teachers. Parents can make a maximum of four 10-minute appointments on Powerschool to meet with teachers of specific classes. During these conferences, children’s grades, performance, and future learning are discussed.
However, the topic of these conversations cause nervousness among some students as they are not invited to the conferences. At the same time, it provides motivation to improve. Freshman Claire Stevens states, “[PTC’s] encourage me to work harder to bring my grades up so my parents won’t have anything to get mad at me for.” She also adds that because many students don’t tell their parents about their school life (or rather, the full picture of what occurs), the conferences are a good way for parents to find out.
On the other hand, sophomore Jess Cuadro doesn’t feel queasy about the conferences at all. “I like them!” she claims. “There’s a difference between seeing grades and actually getting feedback on learning.” She explains that PTC’s provide a “backstory” on the grades that are shown on PowerSchool.
Chemistry teacher Mrs. Patrikios believes that they are an effective way to learn more about students and their learning habits. She comments, “It’s very tiring for teachers, but it’s great to meet with parents and discuss the learning of the child.”
Similarly, parents of sophomores Jiwon Cyhn and Alice Ye both agree that the PTC’s are a great opportunity to get to know teachers. They also allow parents to further understand students’ strengths and weaknesses; despite the improved grading system, it is still difficult to identify what one’s child struggles with. Hence, it helps when teacher point out specific topics and recommend study plans.
As demonstrated by the variety of people within the community, Parent-Teacher Conferences focus on much more than just students’ grades. They provide feedback, a deeper insight into what is expected of students, and strategies to earn specific grades. Also, who doesn’t like half-days?