Home > Lifestyle, Rant and Rave > Parent-Professor Conferences? Maybe.

Parent-Professor Conferences? Maybe.

Fatima Shabbir

Before reading this article last week about a proposed parent – teacher conference for college students, I was outraged and a little insulted by the audacity of this man who thought of–much less wrote–such a proposal.

But lo-and-behold, I actually read his arguments and it made sense – surprisingly.  He doesn’t think all college campuses should mandate PTA meetings and air out student’s dirty laundry; he has other positive aspects of these proposed meetings in mind.

I’m pretty sure we can all remember the parent-teacher conferences when we were kids and dreading the outcomes, (for those of us who couldn’t focus and resorted to “bad” behavior leading to no-good grades), and welcoming the positive feedback from the classes we loved that boosted our self esteem.  And then having our parents only lament about the bad reviews they got once we got home… I think this hits home for all of us.

Now, this proposed “meet the parents” college night does not have the same concept – thankfully!  Instead, the author of this article invited parents of his students to a well intentioned and fun night to get to know the program he was teaching, ask questions about it, and interact with other faculty members as well as their children in the same setting. One night of letting parents know about what they were paying for their children to learn at college – some of whom are hundreds of miles away from their children everyday (a daunting and scary thought for most parents).

He found that more and more parents wanted to see him after his presentation, although I’m not sure the students were as enthusiastic about it. Being a student myself, and understanding that we are all adults and can make decisions for ourselves – don’t our parents deserve at least one night to feel like they know what’s going on in our lives?  I mean, they are paying for this wonderful and sometimes scary experience we are living through for the next four years of our lives.  At least let them feel like they’re in some control.

And for those of us (especially us Asians!), who want to major in art, music or creative writing because we are good at it and love it – and feel the pressure of becoming lawyers, doctors and engineers beating down our shoulders by our parents – wouldn’t it be nice to have a professor explain our talent, and why becoming a writer or freelance, carefree artist would be more beneficial to us than being a clinical cardiologist neurosurgeon specializing in psychological disorders and brain wave radiology? I know I can surely use some of that.

It may not be a bad idea after all. Just for one night.

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