Many students dread student-teacher conferences. Students must wait for hours in long lines to meet with teachers for only a few minutes, and teachers must meet with dozens upon dozens of students with few breaks. With the entire day free of classes, all students have the same goal in mind: try to finish conferences and leave school as soon as possible. Last year, administrators tried solving this problem by making conferences on a Thursday, including both conferences and classes in the schedule. This solution, however, made both students and teachers angry. This year, the administration reverted the conference day to Friday but instituted a change: official limits on how early students would be allowed to leave the school after completing their conferences, preventing students from rushing out of school as quickly as they could.
Many teachers were enthusiastic about the change from last year’s setup, remembering the tiring day: after teaching periods 2-3 and meeting with students for hours on end, exhausted teachers (and students) had to go back to periods 10-11. Dr. Gaylord noted that he prefers Friday conferences because “they can be as long or as short as teachers and students need them to be.” Without the pressure to hurry up and finish before 10th period, this year, students and teachers were able to have meaningful meetings in a decent amount of time. Mr. Deutsch, who always has an enormous number of students with whom to meet, was not pleased with last year’s arrangement of conferences. Having to teach after a long day of constant conversing was extremely tiring, so he was extremely happy to have the meetings back on Friday this year.
Many juniors noted their agreement with the change. Levi Lesches ’21 said, “If these meetings are going to happen during school, it might as well be convenient for everybody.” Akiva Shlomovich ’21 proposed another solution, “It would be better for conferences to be on a full school day because more time is needed to meet with all your teachers then there is on a Friday. Kids should still be able to leave early, that way the building is less noisy and crowded.” Students spend more time waiting for teachers who have more students. With an entire R day, for example, students could afford to take time for meaningful meetings with their teachers.
Whether a student rushes through these meetings or takes his or her time, students and teachers agree on one thing: there should not be classes on student-teacher conference day. They just make the day more tiring than it already is.