Step Up to Parent Teacher Conferences

I am sitting here in my classroom, currently waiting for students, parents, or a combination of both to walk through my door. I have my grade book set up and the lighting just right so that everyone can see the yellow line that denotes homework disappear into obscurity. I hear my co-teacher speaking to a student’s parents in Spanish. My Spanish is about as good as a five year old kid with down syndrome, but I do make out the following words: “baja”, “malo”, “castiga”, “dio mio”, “conejo”, and “?Quieres comer? !Manos a la obra!”

To me, conferences are like Christmas. Bad ass students are suddenly reduced to syccophantic chipmunks. Loners and introverts suddenly ask for extra work. I realize its temporal, but gosh, it’s nice to see what could be.

UPDATE: Our Assistant Principal just makes an announcement for the raffle winner. We have a raffle at Parent Teacher Conferences. For showing up, you get a ticket, and the winning ticket wins a Nintendo Wii. Considering all the distractions our students face on a daily basis, this proves to be an overtly inappropriate gesture.

I’d say the best way to marginalize any school-wide function is to incentivize it with a Nintendo game. For all of our students who cannot manage their time and their parents who cannot manage their students, an interactive time-sucking machine should be the last thing they want. But to pander it with tickets? Who came up with that idea? Why do we want to transform Parent Teacher Conferences into a carnival?

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