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Would you take your 5th grader to a parent-teacher conference?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have a parent-teacher conference coming up for my 5th grader. The teacher has encouraged the students to attend the conference with their parents. This is not a "share your work" kinda a conference, but rather just a regular conference. I don't have any great concerns about my child and can't think of anything I would need to discuss in private with the teacher at this time. However, I am a little concerned that the teacher herself might be less than candid about things if my child is present. Any thoughts or experiences with having a child present at a parent-teacher conference?

Cyclemama
post #2 of 16

Take her! Kids seldom get to talk to their teachers one on one.  It's been nice experiences for my kids.
 

post #3 of 16
I'd announce it to the teacher first. Split it in two if the teacher prefers, having your daughter there for the first half and send her out for the second. One of the programs in the school has the kids run their PTC for 4th and 5th grade. They present their work, and outline what they think their strengths and weaknesses are and how they are going to work towards improving both in the subsequent weeks.

I let my daughter read her report card (evidently this isn't the norm at the school) and she wrote a response to the report card that I'll bring with me tomorrow.

We're bringing my 5th grader to her IEP meeting in January. She'll be there for the first 20 minutes or so. This is her education, not mine.
post #4 of 16

My son's school has started strongly encouraging students to attend their conferences. It is really pretty neat. My son is in 5th this year and really it was more a conference between him and his teacher. My son did a self evaluation and the teacher did an evaluation of him and at the conference they compared and talked about why certain areas were marked low (things like effort, rule following, etc.). They were able to talk about specific examples of both the good and poor marks. The teacher asked my son's input on what could improve things that weren't going well and they then set some goals for the school year. My husband and I commented afterwords that we were really just the ride to and from.

 

If you think about a typical conference, the teacher talks to you about strengths and weaknesses and you go home and talk to your child about what they are doing well and where they need to improve. Then talk about how to do so. This just takes us out as the middle men.

post #5 of 16

It depends. If the conferences are designed for kids to participate, then they should. If you have specific issues you'd rather not discuss in front of your child, then leave your child home. 

post #6 of 16

I would. By fifth grade, most kids can - and should - start taking responsibility for their portion of schooling. Not that they should be left to their own devices, but they are in a place where they have a pretty good idea of where they need to work harder and where they need additional support. A teacher who is willing to meet with the child as well as the parent is more likely to work with the child to meet his/her potential.
 

post #7 of 16

Yes, I've attended parent-teacher conferences with my children present. I think it's helpful for everyone to have an open discussion. It's good to encourage the student to be involved and take some ownership and control of the school process. It's an opportunity for them to define goals and identify what is working for them and where they could do better and for everyone to consider strategies to support the student's learning. 

 

You can always have a private discussion with the teacher, either before or after or at a different time. I usually asked the teacher if there was anything we needed to talk about and suggested s/he contact me if needed.

post #8 of 16

oh absolutely yes. dd has been at every teacher conference since K.

 

it has really helped dd to hear from her teacher rather than just from me.

 

however the teacher has always been kind, and highlighted dd's positives too.

 

however i really do keep in touch with teachers. so i always get to know of any issues before the conference.

 

this year the teachers (math and class) have a real close bond with their students. for the first time dd is chatty cathy in her math teacher's class so everytime he sees her he uses his hands to make the chatting gesture. not in a negative way (we've run across him a couple of times outside of school, so its really cleared the air where we talk about a lot of issues apart from school), but in a you've got to watch it way.

 

dd also can tell. the other day she surprised me when we were discussing her problems in front of her casually and she said the fact that no one was tense told her the isssue wasnt big.

post #9 of 16

Yes.  My children's schools do this.  From 1st or 2nd grade on, the kids come too. 

post #10 of 16

My 6th grader attended the parent teacher conference this year at the teacher's request.  It was good he came because what ended up happening was that he had it out with the teacher about his beefs and I was there to moderate.  It's sounds terrible, but actually it really did help.  He felt safe to talk about how class was going because I was there and the teacher was able to both touch bases with me and talk to my son about expectations, comfortable that the parent was there to understand the context of the conversation.  Seeing as most conferences are bound to be more neutral (we had a really bad start to the school year) and our trickier conference still worked, then why not?  Students should be empowered to take charge of their education.  It's good training for high school and post secondary education in the future.
 

post #11 of 16

I would. Hopefully since that is what the teacher is recommending, she is able to be candid and open with the students there.

post #12 of 16

We always bring the kids. If I have something I need to discuss privately, I'll schedule a private meeting or do it via e-mail.

 

the conference is really more about "these are the expectations and this is where your child is". I think it's helpful for the kids to hear that.

post #13 of 16

My DSS has attended all his, started in Grade one, now he's in Grade two.  I think it's a great idea.  They're called 3-way interviews at his school (Parent, Teacher, Child.) 

post #14 of 16

My kids' 4th and 5th grade teachers invite students in to conferences.  I've actually learned more about my kid at school/how they're doing from those conferences than in the private one on one ones with the teacher.  Also as others have mentioned it's excellent one on one time (almost for the student and teacher). 
 

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

My kids' 4th and 5th grade teachers invite students in to conferences.  I've actually learned more about my kid at school/how they're doing from those conferences than in the private one on one ones with the teacher.  Also as others have mentioned it's excellent one on one time (almost for the student and teacher). 
 

I agree. You get to see more how the teacher relates to your child. Everything seems less "rote" when the child attends.

post #16 of 16

In our schools, students attended conferences through middle school (8th grade), and many attended conferences in high school as well (though less than half). In elementary and middle school, fall conferences were for goal setting; spring conferences were for reviewing those goals.

 

If either the teacher or the parent waited until conferences to discuss an issue the student is having, there is a serious problem.

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