Student-led conferences don’t work

Andrew Davis, Staff Photographer

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The student-led conferences are not effective. The topics discussed in the conference do not come up outside the room and what is spoken in the conference stays in the conference. They are not worth the time given in preparation for them.

The reason we have student-led conferences is so that students, parents and teachers can discuss the current status of their student’s academic progress and talk about future goals. I understand the concept and why it is theoretically a good idea but it simply is inconvenient and doesn’t work.

All we do as students in said conference is talk about our grades and how we are going to fix them or do better. It’s awkward for everybody in the room. Students talking about their grades doesn’t solve any problems for anybody. If the student actually cares about school, he or she would already know what their grades are and they would take the initiative to fix or better them. If the parent cares about their child’s grades, they would discuss with them personally what to do about their grades or what they are going to do after high school, instead of in front of an advisor that the parents don’t even know.

Students whose parents take the time and to come to conferences already talk to their children about academics, meaning this type of conference wastes time. A more effective experience would be to just let the parents and students talk with one another at home alone, instead of having only 10 minutes at school.

Sometimes people don’t even show up to it. The last time I did it nothing really came of it; we talked about what we needed to talk about, then left, and nothing else after that happened. There aren’t any conversations being had about anything else. I don’t think that they take into account our outside-of-school schedules. It’s also a lot more work for everyone involved with no real outcome.

A more effective use of time might be to just let parents and students work things out in private, then have a day where the advisor and student take a minute or two and talk about his or her grades and plan for the future individually.

 If we switch back to traditional conferences, the teacher and parent would have more one- one-time to talk with each individual teacher, rather than the 10 minutes they have with the students advisor, which may or may not be one of their actual teachers.

We should not have the student-led conferences because it is a waste of time and energy and it has no real effect on the success of our students.