Meet the Parents

Mrs. Radcliffe assists Bethany Noonan (10) with help on an assignment in English class.

Conor Drafz, Crown Writer and Photographer

The time has arrived for the event that every student at Marian Central has waited for, parent-teacher conferences, which take place at Marian on November 9th. Parent-teacher conferences present parents with the opportunity to speak with their children’s instructors head on. The optional face to face interactions between the teachers and their students’ parents can provide insight into their students’ personal lives and help them get to know them a little better. By speaking with the parents in the same room, often with their children present, the teachers can understand their students better and have the chance to grow a stronger bond than before. For some students, the conferences may be a little nerve-racking, but for most students are helpful as well and provide them with the same opportunities as it does the teachers.

Parent-teacher conferences arrive on only one night at the beginning of every year. On this occasion, instructors have the chance to speak with the parents of their students, face to face. “Sometimes you need to have a face to face conversation with the parent. You don’t always have that opportunity,” says Mr. Tim Lalor (’93), a history teacher. While teachers spend the entirety of their mornings and afternoon with students, it is often difficult for them to understand the students personally until they view each student’s background and home life. “[Conferences] usually go pretty well. I always like meeting their parents. That often gives me insight into each student and their family background, and that’s always very helpful,” adds Mrs. Cecilia Jelinek, a theology teacher. The meetings offer possibilities to speak about a student’s living situation and how they were brought up, as well as a chance to meet the parents. Using the opportunity to talk, head on with the students and their parents can lead to more understanding of the student as well as the teacher.

From the perspective of students and parents, the conferences are not always considered significant based on opinion and class standing. Many students go with their parents to the meetings, while other students and their parents do not attend at all. “It depends on the student. The conferences help some students, but others don’t need it,” remarks Ava Palminteri (10). Justas Venys (9) claims that “If you struggle as a student in Marian, parent-teacher conferences are vital and important to establish yourself as a student.” As observed by these viewpoints, there are different opinions on the importance and meaning of the conferences. Students and parents visit the school for conferences for a variety of reasons, whether it be a general check-up or merely some questions about a student’s grade in a particular class. In multiple cases, students or their parents decide that conferences be unnecessary. This is all subject to opinion, as discussions can help students, or be utterly pointless in one’s own opinion. The meetings are optional and for the most part, do not affect a student’s status in classes, but serve as a helpful tool for discussion of the course or courses between parents and teachers.

For teachers, parents, and students, parent-teacher conferences provide ample opportunities for discussions about grades, a student’s home life, and many other topics that can provide teachers and students with a better understanding of each other. The head-on interaction between parents and teachers give a much more engaging and real experience compared to an email or another form of message. Although the conferences are not for everyone, the attendees will find something fundamental about the meetings as a whole.