Effectiveness of Parent-Teacher Conferences – Research Paper Example
Effectiveness of Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-teacher conferences are significant annual forums between teachers and parents, some times in the presence of the students to focus on academic performance of children and other aspects such as the behavior of children in school. Such conferences present the parents and teachers with an opportunity to know each other and share opinions regarding the performance of children. Parents get involved in student performance management, which is essential in the accomplishment of educational goals and student success. Effectiveness of parent-teacher conferences is one of the key issues that determine the accomplishment of the laid out objectives (Paik, 2003). This essay is a critique of the effectiveness of parent-teacher conferences. It also offers an explanation of the importance of these conferences in regard to accomplishment of educational objectives among the students
Effectiveness of Parent-teacher Conferences
An effective parent-teacher conference is characterized by confidence amongst the participants as well as trust. Parents believe that teachers offer the most reliable and unbiased information regarding the students while teachers on the other hand anticipate to understand the students better through interacting with the parents (Stevens et al. 2003). More over, when teachers work together with parents to analyze issues affecting the children, open mindedness in each party makes it possible for them to come to a viable action plan. Involvement of children in these conferences is important to ensure that they can understand the cooperation between them and their teachers, which make them realize the importance that parents attach to their education, making them work harder to please them. The conference should also be planned early enough so that the teacher can have all the necessary issues for discussion ready to save time in the discussion. Parents also need to be informed in good time regarding the conference to plan ahead on the possible issues that need to be raised in the conference.
Effectiveness in parent-teachers conferences can also be achieved when parents are ready to accommodate the perceptions of the teachers in regard to education (Million, 2005). Under normal circumstances, the generation gap between the parents and their school going children is likely to raise controversies as parents expect their children to learn the same way they did, especially if they were successful in careers after completion of studies. However, the teacher, having great experience in the educational system understands the continuous changes that affect learning, hence his/her perception is sound and informed. This means that the teacher should be listened to and his/her advice taken seriously. Teachers on the other hand need to be understanding in regard to diversity (McMillan and Schumacher, 2009). Dealing with parents from diverse cultural backgrounds means that their perception in regard to behavior and other issues of concern in the conferences need to be approached with care not to offend the parent, which may generate misunderstanding and confrontations. The choice of words when explaining issues matters a lot and the teacher needs to know what is likely to generate enthusiasm or anger and dissatisfaction in the conference, especially in regard to cultural beliefs and customs.
Importance of Parent-teachers Conferences
The parent-teachers conferences present an avenue for parents and teachers to understand each other, which make teachers capable of relating the child’s behavior to the family background, while the parent gets to understand the kind of teacher who is in charge of their children. In other words, they get to know each others character, which is fundamental to the performance of students. Clark (1997) observes that any meaningful collaboration is accomplished when the parties involved understand each other. The parent-teacher conferences help them to establish an important collaboration, which is important in accomplishing educational objectives among the students. They also present an opportunity for parents to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their children from the teacher’s perspective, while the teachers get to understand the students’ behaviors better through information acquired from the parents. In exceptional cases, children may behave differently in school due to forbear resulting from bullying, shyness and other issues that may affect the relationship of a child with peers. When the parent presents different information regarding the behavioral characteristics of the child, the teacher is able to develop strategies to help in understanding the behavior of students. This is important in overcoming the problem (Chris, 2007).
The parent is also presented with an opportunity to ask various questions regarding the talents of the child, for example the involvement in sports, group work and team building, communication skills as well as public speaking. This can be important in helping the parents to set standards at home for the purpose of generating these capabilities in the children. On realizing the weaknesses of their children, parents can set certain standards such as using the correct language at home when communicating, finishing homework before sleeping, sleeping early and waking up at the rime to avoid lateness and such other practices that may help in the improvement of the performance of students (Paik, 2003).
Parent-teachers conferences are significant in understanding the behavior of students. They help in establishing cooperation between parents and teachers, making it possible to develop an appropriate action plan that is important in the accomplishment of educational objectives. Students are motivated to participate in class work when they realize that parents are cooperating with the parents. Parent-teachers conferences are essential for the improved performance of students, conduct and relations with people including other students and teachers.
Chris B. (2007). Child Protection; an Introduction, Sage Publications.
Clark, T. E. (1997). Designing and Implementing an Integrated Curriculum: A Student-Centered
Approach, Holistic Education Press.
McMillan J. and Schumacher S. (2009). Research in Education: Evidence-Based Inquiry,
Million, J. (2005). “Getting teachers set for parent conferences.” Education Digest, 78(8) pp
Paik, S. J. (2003). Ten strategies that improve learning. Educational Horizons, 81(2), 83-85.
Stevens B. A., Tollafield A. & Kappan P. D. (2003). Classroom Practice: Creating
Comfortable and Productive Parent/Teacher Conferences. Classroom Management
& Communication, Vol. 84 (7) pp 521-524