Thursday, January 29, 2009

Big 'Ol Goose Egg

We had parent conferences tonight from 4:30 to 7:30 pm.

The conferences are open to any parent who chooses to come, plus we were encouraged to invite those parents we really need to see. Guidance had sent out failure letters a few weeks ago to 17 of our lovelies - which were supposed to be signed by a parent and returned, however, none have been - so we decided we would send a special invitation to these seventeen parents, plus a few others with kids who are borderline.

So, we reprinted the failure letters, attached an invitation asking them to come to the conference so we could figure out how to help their child, and stapled these into the kids' agendas.

Any guesses on how many parents The Team saw tonight?

Zero.

Nada.

Not. A. Single. Freaking. Parent.

I'm going to go bang my head against a wall.

16 comments:

dkzody said...

Your school is sounding more and more like the inner city high school where I teach. That is not a good thing.

Chanman said...

You have to admit, it is all so logical.

Chapati said...

ugh!

did the kids give their parents the report?

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Chapati, who knows? The first set of failure letters were mailed three weeks ago, so you would assume that some of the parents got them. As for whether the second set got home??? Our parents are "supposed" to sign agendas every night but I can tell you out of my homeroom, only 1 parent does. And I have the advanced kids, the ones with the involved parents.

Angela said...

I gave up on the agendas 3 years ago. It's just too much work to try to get parents to sign. I DO, however, hound for conferences. This year I managed to see (or talk on the phone to, in 1 case) every parent by the beginning of November--a personal record! (There's usually a few I can NEVER get in.) Some of the parents only came in because they were tired of my daily harassment via notes home, email, and voicemail, but they came.

I'm not sure how I was able to pull this off--it could have just been the luck of the draw, coupled with the fact that I only had 20 students--but for the first time, I gave 15 minutes of free class time to the kids whose parents came in. I think that watching their peers play computer games was enough to make them go home and nag their parents to schedule a conference. Whatever works, I say.

Sarah said...

That is so sad. I know we have awful parent attendace at conferences too. They sure come to the basketball games or any other activity like that. I think we should set up fake activities and spring conferences on these parents!

teachergirl said...

This year, we departmentalized. Conference week was this week, so we decided that we would conference as a team and we would only meet with those students who were in danger of not passing 5th grade. That's a big deal here because the state test determines passing or failing and the AYP status of our school. We had all but one of about 30 conferences show up. Wednesday was the worst day - 8 in a row. I went home and went to bed. That day, we had 4 kids and a parent cry. We had to call one kid's mother six times and e-mail her twice to get her to come on Thursday. Friday? Her kids weren't in school. My guess is that she is on the run. But I am a cynic. I only had one drink with dinner on Friday night, but it was in a glass the size of a vase. I don't understand why everyone came, though, because they all had to know that this wasn't a rosy conference - we had already sent those grades home two weeks ago. Some of those meetings were abymsmal.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

As the new grades 6 and 7 sped teacher at The Remote School, I've been conducting IEP meetings. The parents don't even bother to show up for these important meetings. The parents' lack of involvement in their children's lives translates into either apathy or defiance in my classroom.

The Bus Driver said...

Left you some blog love... check it out.

Mimi said...

NO parents? I've had no shows before, but to sit there and have ZERO parents? Is room at least super clean now??? (desperately seeking silver lining...)

Jane said...

No parents....so that a parent who showed up got to talk to you and the kid's other teachers for as long as they needed to?

Were the conferences open to any parents?

At my kids' school, we get only twenty minutes with our kids' teachers.

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Any parent who wanted to come was welcome. Heck, it was in huge letters on the school sign, inviting them all to come. As long as we didn't have a line forming (ha!) a parent could have talked as long as he/she wished!

Some of the other teams had a better turn out - Mrs. Eagle had six - but our team apparently "won" the award for the lowest turn out.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

I gave out extra credit to students whose parents came to conferences. I had about 20 parents out of 55 show up. That wasn't bad.

Peach Pod said...

I'm willing to bet each student that you plan to retain will have a screaming parent show up! And I'm also willing to bet that those parents will claim that they've had no opportunity to contact you.

This is my world.

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Peach, I'll let you in on a dirty little secret - we won't retain any. We've learned, the hard way, that even attempting to retain a kid requires jumping through so many hoops that it's not worth it. It's highly discouraged by administration. The party line is that "they'll catch them in the bridges program the summer between 8th grade and high school." I disagree - I think we need to have consequences in middle school, because by the time they hit high school, they've lost the skills.

We will, however, have a few parents in guidance in May wanting to know why their kid is going to summer school. And I'm documenting all the parents who've stood us up and who refused to answer emails, phone calls, etc.

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

Then again, you had lots of time to marshal your thoughts and decompress after a long day....