Any district administrator or school principal can testify that parent teacher conferences are generally a logistical headache. Coordinating teacher and parent itineraries takes hours of time for secretaries and office managers. Sometimes, teachers and other faculty need to get involved to ensure that scheduling conflicts are resolved and everyone receives a convenient time slot.
When dealing with middle schools, these issues are compounded by group or team meetings.
In the middle school setting, students often have a different teacher for each subject. Some of these teachers might also teach different grade levels. Additionally, some students spend time with special-ed teachers, guidance counselors, or school psychologists.
At parent-teacher conferences, team meetings can be comprised of all faculty members that teach/deal with a student, or just some of them. In many schools parents can choose which staff members they wish to meet with.
Working out all the variable schedules is usually done with wall charts and spreadsheets. But these antiquated methods require endless cross-checking with multiple staff members and parents, just to ensure that everyone required for a single meeting will be available.
To illustrate, let’s take Mr. Thompson. His daughter Jane is in 7th grade and studies Math, English and Biology with three different teachers. She also sees the school psychologist to cope with an online bullying incident.
Fortunately, the Math and English teachers only teach 7th grade, so they are not “overbooked”. However, the Biology teacher also teaches 8th grade and the school psychologist deals with all grades in the school. Their schedules require them to be available for meeting with parents of 6th-8th grade students. Clearly, getting all 4 staff members together with Mr. Thompson, at a time convenient for him, will not be simple.
This little illustration provides just a glimpse of the complexity that school administration grapples with each time parent teacher conferences come around.
The good news is that PTC Wizard provides a powerful and easy-to-use, online scheduling system that takes all the pain out of arranging parent teacher conferences. Parents can select time-slots that are good for them, while the web-based system ensures that all relevant staff members are available – with zero scheduling conflicts. To top it all off, school administration no longer needs to get involved with the process and can focus their time and energy on more important matters than juggling meeting times and schedules.