Parent conferences prompt communication among parents, students, teachers


Photo credit: Marc Guggenheim

English teacher and journalism adviser speaks with parents along with Admissions Associate, Angela Boulart who was present to be a translator during the conference. “I see [conferences] as an opportunity to tell them what I see as their daughter’s strengths and where I see their areas for growth, and to work together as a team to help their student improve,” Taylor said.

Parents navigated through the halls of Archer from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 15 and Nov. 22, glancing down at schedules their daughters made to locate the proper classrooms. The annual parent-teacher conferences take place so teachers can provide feedback on students’ progress to parents in person.

Math teacher Leila Chakravarty said that she wishes parent conferences would occur in spring as well as in fall because conferences give the opportunity for her to give feedback to parents and for them to see a “breadth of what is happening” in the class.

“I talk about student’s academic progress and also their learning disposition; this means how they get along with groups and if they feel empowered to raise their hand in class — if they are good about their study skills and if they are keeping an organized binder and if they turn in all their homework,” Chakravarty said. “I answer any questions parents have about what kind of classes their daughters are going to take in math.”

Physics and chemistry teacher Salpie Sekayan said that conferences build relationships between the parents and students because there is more communication among them after the conferences. She also shared that conferences help her as a teacher.

“It’s important to the teacher to know how [we] can help the student because the parent would obviously know the student better,” Sekayan said. “If I know [the student better,] it’ll be easier for the kid.”

Sophomore Anny Rodriguez said that parent conferences are a “good way ” for parents to feel “involved” and “aware” in their children’s school life.

“Last year, [my mom] did talk to me about them afterward, she said ‘Oh, I saw that you didn’t turn in an assignment for Spanish,’ and we [talked] about it,” Rodriguez said. “It led to a discussion about how I need to apply myself more in certain subjects.”

Chakravarty said that parents “worry a little bit less” after speaking with her because conferences are a “good opportunity” for parents to see how well their daughters actually do.

“I hope parents take the information and talk to their child and say, ‘This is how your teacher thinks you’re doing’ or ‘This is what you can work on’,” Chakravarty said. “I do know some parents do not really do that and use it as a chance to scold their child, and I don’t want that to happen.”

College guidance coordinator and current Archer parent Marla Terry said that it is “great” to see her colleagues in such a “different light” during conferences.

“I am so impressed by the work [teachers] do,” Terry said. “As someone that works side by side them, it is great to see their passion [for teaching] come out.”

Terry said that, as an Archer staff member and parent, she is left “amazed” and “impressed” because she doesn’t get to see what actually goes on in the classrooms on a regular basis.

“It’s so nice to hear what they are doing in the classrooms, the projects students are working on and the quality and level of work that is being done with my daughter is impressive,” Terry said.