Students Are Also Invited to Parent Teacher Conferences

Colin Ozeki, Staff Reporter

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Deadlines are quickly approaching and people are scrambling to turn in assignments, late or not. This is in anticipation for a semi-annual event that occurs in schools across New York City, that event being Parent Teacher Conferences. Officially stated to occur 4 times a year, the purpose of Parent Teacher Conferences is outlined on the NYCDOE website, that being, “a great opportunity for you to talk with your child’s teacher about what your child is learning at school and how you can support this learning at home.”

However, there is an aspect of Parent Teacher Conferences that is not commonly seen across the board. In Millennium Brooklyn High School, part of the emphasis is placed on the student showing up with their parents and leading the discussion. Kevin Conway, principal of Millennium Brooklyn High School (MBHS), stated that “We want to put the ownership of learning on the student… We want to hear from the kid themselves. That’s helpful for the student in terms of articulating their progress, and helpful for us in terms of hearing from the student themselves.” The general idea behind this statement is that learning is for the sake of the student. Therefore, when it comes to speaking about the progress of said learning, it only makes sense for the student to be involved in the conversation where they are the subject.

While the premise may be considered good on the surface, the student reaction to this is notmay not be as positive. Michael Erickson, a 12th grader at MBHS, has voiced his disdain of the idea. “I think [student participation] is unnecessary for the most part, the students have the opportunity to speak to the teacher daily, while parents only get that occasional chance”. The reasoning behind his idea is that the reason Parent Teacher Conferences are called what they are is so that the parents can get information they normally would not have access to. Since the student is the one doing the work, if anything, they would be the one to know the most about what they do and don’t do well.

Nonetheless, Parent Teacher Conferences continue to be an integral part of the educational process and the reasoning behind it is there. While there may be differing philosophies, as suggested by the name, there is a shared idea that both the parent and the teacher benefit.

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