Friday, March 4, 2016


There was a new format for Spring Conferences today.  In the past the meeting has been a nice bookend for a 6th grader's first year in middle school.  Parents and student would meet with their homeroom teacher so students could review the goals they had set for themselves at the beginning of the year.  If goals were met we could talk about the strategies they used to find success.  If the opposite was true we could brainstorm ways to get back on track for the last part of the year. Students would work during homeroom to gather some of their best work so they could be prepared for the conference they would lead.  

This year the county changed to a sort of "speed dating" approach.  The full day set aside for these meetings was scaled back to a three-hour time block in the afternoon of an early-release day.  No appointments were made, nor were students part of the preparation.  Parents waited in the hall to speak to teachers.  Students were asked to join their parents for any meetings but did not always do so.

I've never minded conferences.  In fact, I think I'm one of the few teachers that actually likes them.  I suppose this is odd for an introvert like myself, but I really enjoy getting a more complete picture of the students I teach.  I've heard a lot over the years but was not prepared for one opening statement today.

"Okay, I have two things. sent her to the office on a dress-code violation?  Really?  I mean that's the first thing I need to say."

That moment was a blip on my hours in the classroom this year.  As I searched my memory for the details of the incident I could only think about why I had been taught to start each conference with something positive.


  1. Yikes! Parent teacher conferences run as speed dating. Scary!
    I always like conferences...

  2. I like conferences, I just hate the timing: after a long day of work and many days of prep, and then another long day and a chance to do it all again!

  3. I hated the speed dating conferences! But like you, I always tried to say something positive. Can't believe this is how the parent decided to focus their limited time with you!