By Chloe Weissman
With parent teacher conferences right around the corner, the question of whether they are still necessary, arises. Parent teacher conferences are the perfect opportunity for parents of academically challenged students to meet with their teachers. However, there are a certain amount of time slots for each teacher that get used up quickly. Most of these time slots are used up by parents of students that are finding bundles of success at school. This is not fair for the students who need more attention than others. Barbara O’connell, a math teacher at BHHS, says, “I always hope that the parents of students that are really struggling or have personal issues to discuss have those opportunities to meet with me. Parents whose students are doing well or just need to “check in” can always do that with an email or phone call. Parents and teachers are a team and should always be able to communicate, but these conferences are especially helpful for those in need of greater support.”
Another alternative for these parent teacher conferences is having student teacher conferences instead! After all parent teacher conferences are meant to help the teachers convey what they think about the student’s performance. Furthermore, BHHS encourages students to become more independent, so student teacher conferences are a great way to pursue this. Students would schedule a meeting with their teachers and conference with them about how they can improve and what they are already doing well. Amanda Anikstein, a freshman at Byram Hills, agrees and adds, “With the students conferencing with teachers, we can take our own steps to succeed further into our high school career. Furthermore, students don’t need to listen to their parents annoy us about our grades and progress.” This would be very beneficial to all students and influence their behavior and academic persistence throughout the rest of the year.
Although student teacher conferences may seem like a smart and helpful idea, parents do find ease in meeting with their child’s teachers. This conference keeps the parents in loop and informs them if they need to take more of a dominant role in their child’s academic career. A parent of a BHHS student says, “I look forward to my parent teacher conference and find it a great way to make sure that my child is working hard to be the best version of herself/himself. It is more favorable to be face to face with the teacher rather than over email.” This BBHS parent shares this belief with many other parents as well.
There are many different views and opinions on whether or not there should be parent teacher conferences at BHHS. The only way we can find out which way will be more effective is if we try them all out!