Should students attend parent-teacher conferences?

Scenario A: You sit at home worrying about what your parents and your math teacher are talking about. What if they talk about that one test you totally bombed! Or about how you don’t like to raise your hand to answer questions? Oh, man!

Scenario B: You and your mom go into your math teacher’s room and you think what’s gonna happen? Then your math teacher starts talking about that one test you bombed, and you defend yourself, saying that you had play practice during that week. You go home because everything went well.

Traditionally, Parent-Teacher Conferences are a time for the adults to talk about the children, but many educators and psychologists across the world argue that children should also attend these conferences and have a voice in these discussions. This begs the question, “Should we allow students to attend Parent-Teacher Conferences?”.

My first Conference was held in 6th grade and my parents went alone. When the cane back, I was grounded for 3 weeks, no TV, and no devices. When I asked them why, they told me that my teachers had informed them that I wasn’t paying attention in class and not doing my homework sometimes. I wasn’t there to tell them that I hadn’t been getting any sleep the week before the conferences because I was worried about my tests. I didn’t get to tell my teachers or my parents about that. As a student who prefers attending parent-teacher conferences, and playing an active role in my education, I believe that all students should take the initiative to attend and contribute to these discussions and in some cases, save themselves from punishment.

Since there are 2 sides to every argument, there are 2 sides to this one too. The first side argues that students should stay at home because it’s a time for adults to meet, and in the 10-15 minutes each parent is given, there really isn’t any room for opinions of students. The other side points out that students deserve to have a voice because what is discussed at these conferences can change their life dramatically. According to some students, a bad teacher review and angry parents is all it takes to screw up their life.

However, regardless of the anxiety some students experience, parents and teachers can’t openly talk about social issues that may be happening at school in the presence of the student. Contrasting opinions of both sides persuade school districts across the nation to choose either one. Elmbrook encourages student participation, the question is, do you?