The Importance of Conferences

Students gave presentations in hopes of raising attendance at conferences. As well as reminding parents why conferences are beneficial.


Abbey Manzanares, Reporter

A decrease in parent-teacher conferences has led to many concerns from the school’s administration. 

Parent-teacher conferences have been around for years. We had them all throughout elementary and middle school. High school has started to become the stopping point, but for what reason?

As a student, I can see how peers act in school, which is completely different than how they act in front of their parents. Many parents should know that their child is fabricating the truth. They were teenagers before and know exactly how teens act. 

For example, our school tried to gain an increase by making students give their parents a presentation over their future goals. This remained unsuccessful as the administration claims that nearly half of the students didn’t show up.

“Research shows that students learn more, have higher grades, and have better school attendance when parents are involved in their child’s education,” (Meacham Park). 

Although sitting with a parent during these can be awkward, they encourage students to do their best. It also allows the student to talk to the teacher about the class from their perspective. 

“Penrice, a Pennsylvania teacher, finds that the students of parents who are involved and come to parent-teacher conferences are typically the students who do well in school” (US News).

It can be extremely embarrassing to talk in front of peers about confusion or a low grade. These are an opportunity to do that. Having the parent there will also be beneficial because they will now be able to help the child at home.

“When teens know that their parents care about their education they feel more encouraged to do their best” (US News).

Kids our age have a fear of disappointing their parents, which is why they are very secretive. Our parents continuously do so much for us that we feel ashamed of ourselves when we disappoint them. 

“(Teachers can) gain a better understanding of the child from the parents’ perspective” (National Association of Secondary School Principals).

This can help the teacher come up with more effective ways to teach a child. It can help increase the grades and attendance of the students. 

These meetings can also teach parents something new about their child. Anne Vetter, a Spanish teacher at Shawnee Heights, told my class a story about a parent she met during conferences. It was her first year teaching and she hadn’t learned all the kids’ names yet. The mom described the physical appearance of her kid. That’s the moment when Mrs. Vetter said “Oh the kid who has the amazing drawings”. The mother had no idea what she was talking about. That was the moment where the mother found out that her child had a passion for drawing.

“It’s a great way for parents to become involved and stay involved throughout the school year” (Meacham Park).

Involvement from parents also allows the staff and the community to know you and your family better. This helps with communication because the staff will feel more authorized to tell you when they are acting out of the ordinary.

“… (It will) send a positive message to your child that school is important” (Meacham Park).

My parents never graduated from college, but they are constantly telling me how important it is. They tell me that having an education increases a person’s chance of getting a job. Even a high school degree is better than no degree.

This is why they pay close attention to my school life and have never missed a conference. They want me to do well in high school and in life. 

Parent-teacher conferences are important no matter what grade level. They allow the teacher and the parent to put a face to each other which helps when their child is discussing school.  It also encourages the child to do better and attend their classes.