For those of you who already witnessed my facebook vent about student-led conferences...here I am: Still venting.
Yesterday we had both elementary school and middle school conferences. Brian's conference (Mark's conference is next week) went as a conference should. I sat down one on one with the teacher and was able to talk candidly about my kid's strengths and weaknesses directly without worrying about blowing his self esteem or making him too big-headed, whichever way the meeting might go.
Wendy's conferences were a joint gathering where the teacher stopped by our table and patted her on the head praising her and then telling me what a joy she was to have in class. While this may even be true, what I didn't like is that the lack of privacy in the room with four other parent/student groups doesn't offer up any chance to do the *wink-wink* thing and ask - no, really, how is she REALLY doing. Out of respect for my child's privacy amongst her peers, I can't talk about her like that in that enviroment, nor do I want to overhear other parents/kids getting down to brass tacks about their situation.
It's just useless. Unless using two hours of time going from room to room for head pats and praises is your thing.
We went because she wanted the extra credit one of her teachers was giving her for attending. If she ever wants to drag me to a time waster like that again, she's going to have to earn my time at home first. I'm thinking I deserve one heck of a foot massage.
We got extra credit for making eye contact. No, I'm not kidding. This is for real. We had a check list to follow and one of them - as she was showing me her folder of all the good work she does in school, was "did you make eye contact during your student led conference?"
*Insert raised eyebrows here*
We made eye contact, but it wasn't pretty. There was Laakso inherited eyebrow raising involved. Another bullet on that extra credit check list? Did you thank your parent/guardian for coming? Oh yes. She'll be thanking me for a long long time.
I asked one teacher if they ever have *real* conferences and she shook her head no - said that the wait was too long as the parents stacked up to talk to the teacher.
Perhaps that means that's what we really want?
I asked another teacher when we happened to land in a room with no other parents/students, So - what areas does she need more help in? She turned to my child and said, Wendy, what areas do you think you need more help in?
So could have been done on my couch while getting a foot rub and making eye contact.
Interesting fact: on my facebook status - multiple parents have shared their dislike for these types of conferences with the adminstrators, and many boycott them. And yet they continue. Why? That'll be the last time I go to one. Unless she improves on her foot rubbing skills.