Parents/teacher Conference Not About Kids

DURHAM, N.H., Sept. 7 (UPI) — Many students may assume the parent-teacher conference may be about their performance, but U.S. researchers say it’s more about teacher/parent performance.

Danielle Pillet-Shore, assistant professor of communication at the University of New Hampshire, says her findings were surprising.

“Parents and teachers behave in a way suggesting that they are each treating the conference as an occasion for their own performance review — using the student’s progress, or lack thereof, as a gauge of how the teacher is doing at his or her job of ‘being a teacher’ and how the parent is doing at his or her job of ‘being a parent,’” Pillet-Shore said in a statement.

The study finds parents are consistently critical about their children when talking with teachers.

“Parents use their criticisms as vehicles for accomplishing several goals, including showing that they already know about their children’s potential or actual troubles, displaying that they are fair appraisers of their own children, willing and able to detect and articulate their flaws, and reporting on their own efforts to improve or remedy their children’s faults, shortcomings or problems,” Pillet-Shore said.

Conversely, the teachers overwhelmingly work to keep talk about students relatively positive and optimistic, Pillet-Shore says.

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