Parent-Teacher Conferences

Camille Respess, Editor-in-Chief

Clayton High School has created the opportunity for stronger parent-teacher relationships with the addition of parent-teacher conferences at the end of first quarter this year. These meetings were optional for parents, and they had the choice of what teachers they wanted to meet with, if any at all.

CHS teacher Justin Seiwell enjoyed parent-teacher conferences.

“The parents are very friendly. Everyone seems so thrilled to be meeting the teacher and I’m thrilled to meet the parents,” Seiwell said.

Similarly, CHS parent Lori Elliott found meeting with some of her childrens’ teachers to be beneficial.

“It’s nice to put a face with a teacher’s name because I don’t know every teacher at the high school,” Elliott said. “It was good to meet the teachers and get to know them a little better.”

Parents were able to sign up for conferences online which made the process convenient for Elliott, as well as for other parents. Each conference was 10 minutes long, including the time it takes for the parent to get to the room they are meeting the teacher in.

Originally Seiwell thought that the conferences wouldn’t be too short, but he soon figured out this was not the case. “It seems to cut off just when we get to the really deep stuff about how I can best educate your child, how I can best work with you to make this a great experience for your child,” Seiwell said.

Although Seiwell found value in the interactions he had with the parents he talked to, he does not believe that parent-teacher conferences are needed at CHS. “I think that by the time students have reached the high school level they should have ownership over their performance in school,” Seiwell said.

Similarly sophomore Tamar Sher thinks that high school is the time for students to practice having responsible independence. “I don’t like [parent-teacher conferences]. After high school, we don’t get to have our parents check up on us with stuff like this,” Sher said. “So now we have to be independent with our grades and make sure that we are on top of everything and not that our parents are doing that for us in preparation for later in life.”

Seiwell does believe that the addition of parent-teacher conferences has benefited him, but will also cause him to make some changes while teaching. He also thinks that the relationships he has with his students plays a larger role in his approach in the classroom.

“I am learning more and more about my students which will help me in the classroom and it will change the way I teach certain units or the way I approach them,” Seiwell said. “The reality is, I try to get to know my students from their perspectives opposed to the perspectives about them.”