10 Reasons To Attend Parent Teacher Conferences During High School

Parents are involved in their children’s learning every day. The act of going to work and providing for your child’s daily physical needs and making sure that they attend school regularly is part of how parents are practically involved in their every day learning. Another night committed to attend parent teacher conferences can become something that is not considered necessary as your child enters high school. This can be a more common thought for parents who are already stressed out with the regular after school running around, or when parents are able to access their student’s grades online anyway. But parent teacher conferences are about more than just paying attention to grades that are lower than your expectations, they are also hearing positive things from the teachers whose classes your child is passing and about your involvement as part of the school community.

I remember when my daughters were in high school.  I made it a point to meet with their teachers during parent-teacher conferences and most times, I had them attend with me.  This gave them the opportunity to observe the interactions that I had with their teachers, and to be part of the conversations that were about them to begin with.

I remember one particular time, when one of my daughters was having difficulty grasping the content in a class.  We sat with the teacher and reviewed the grades.  I had the opportunity to share what my observations had been with her at home.  I saw her study and spend many hours stressed about her difficulty with understanding the content.  The three of us brainstormed some additional options and the conversation shifted from my daughter being the observer to me becoming the observer.  I witnessed her become part of her own solution as she and her teacher made a specific arrangement for additional tutoring and we set up a timeline in which we would revisit whether or not her class level actually needed to be changed.

It was so much more effective to have my daughter be part of that particular conversation with the teacher.  I was impressed with her level of comfort in speaking with her teacher and with her conversation skills.  I had not observed her interact with her teachers in this way before.  It gave me a sense of security, knowing that her teacher had her best interest in mind and that accountability in the follow-up plan was given directly to both parties who were directly involved.

Here is a list of things that you get to be a part of when you attend parent teacher conferences:

  1. The opportunity to be physically present in your teen’s school building, meet the staff members who interact with your teen daily, and get a sense of the school climate and culture.
  2. The opportunity to meet with your teen’s teachers face to face.
  3. The opportunity to ask questions about the teacher’s expectations and determine how your own expectations are different or the same.
  4. The opportunity to assess your teen’s ability level by asking questions about the academic rigor of the course and how your teen’s reading and math skills are evident through the assignments and exams.
  5. The opportunity to assess your teen’s time management with getting assignments turned in on time for multiple subjects, and multiple teachers.
  6. The opportunity to find out how much assignments are dependent upon technology (should your teen be expected to submit papers online?  Do teachers post notifications through a school issued device?)
  7. The opportunity to be informed of upcoming parent workshops that may be informative for you.
  8. The opportunity to meet other parents, particularly the parents of new friends that your teen has made.
  9. The opportunity to demonstrate to your teen, that you value his or her efforts in school enough to be physically present at school related events.
  10. The opportunity to take your teen with you (depending on the grade level) so you that he or she can be a part of the conversations.
The high school years are such a clearly marked time of transition.  High school students will usually turn 18 sometime around their senior year or shortly after graduation.  Once your teen turns 18, there are a lot of things that he or she will be expected to be able to do without their parents being involved.  Register to vote, make a doctor appointment, and live away from home if they go away to college, decide to move out, or enlist in the military.  The decisions that your teen will make as an independent young adult is endless.

In college, there are no parent teacher conferences.  The ownership of grades falls upon the student 100%.  So while your teen  still in high school, this is an opportunity to connect that is so important.  It is your opportunity to help their transition into adulthood.

How have you connected with teachers during parent teacher conferences?  Comment below and let me know!

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