Collective Wisdom | Reality Check | Parent-Teacher Conferences

Reality Check: Parent-Teacher Conferences

Q: I’ve always been very open and available to discuss a student’s progress when parents have concerns, and during optional end-of-year conversations. But I have some mothers who request parent conferences every couple of months. I have to spend time not only holding these conferences, but collecting pertinent info from multiple teachers. Should I set some sort of yearly maximum for parent conferences? —Dee Buchanan

A: Our policy is that parents must email or phone in their concerns and questions. The director will then decide if a meeting is necessary. Parents cannot request meetings. Before this policy, I was in parent meetings more than I was in the classroom or managing the studio—managing parents’ concerns about their child’s progress became almost a full-time job. I will make an exception if the issue concerns a dancer’s well-being and requires immediate attention. We also do regular student evaluations. —Jenny Whaley

A: Teachers are available for parent conferences twice a year: December and April. Instructors fill out simple forms that outline each student’s progress (similar to a report card). After receiving the forms, parents can request a meeting for additional feedback. It works great—we have only a few parents who ask for a meeting. We also refer to the forms when assigning placements for the coming year. Of course, if there is a serious concern between those months we will address it. —Chrystie Kenny Greco

A: Company kids get one annual 10-minute parent meeting. All studio parents are invited to attend four general meetings where I give a full report on overall progress within the studio. I will also chat with parents at registration or if requested. —Dori Matkowski