On Friday, November 18th, the Parent Teacher Conference was held at GZAAT. During the past three years, the school was not able to host this event due to the pandemic. Fortunately, this year, the school had the opportunity to bring this important event back and retrieve the GZAAT spirit!
Once the parents arrived at school, they were handed their child's midterm report card and later on had the chance to individually speak with the teachers to get a better understanding of their child's academic situation. For some, this was very stressful and anxiety inducing. For others, it was a way of finding out where their child stood, their strong points and areas for improvement. The question is: does this experience bring more good or bad and what kind of attitude do the students, parents, and teachers have towards it?
Many students found this experience to be helpful, one of them being the Freshman class president, Nini Shatberashvili: “It was such an interesting experience for me, and as far as I know for each of the parents, they said it was very productive. Parents meeting teachers will help every student improve something that they need to. From my perspective, there should be more meetings like this, so parents can be more involved with our school life.” Many other students also agreed with this statement. One anonymously stated: “I already knew their attitude because of the comments on the grade paper, but it was still nice to hear in more detail what I could improve on.”
However, it’s safe to say that not all students thought of this as a positive experience, a freshman noted that while some of the students might not have a problem with the conference, many others can get put into uncomfortable situations: “I’m lucky my parents aren’t strict but other parents might be and the parent teacher conference isn’t the best way to deal with a student’s overall performance.” Another issue that came up was the organization of the conference, taking into consideration that different grade levels didn't have their own specified times: “It was nice, but I think it could've been organized better, with each grade having different times set, because the lines were long and tiring.” Based on the gathered information, it’s evident that from the students’ perspective, while the parent teacher conference needs some improvements, overall it did help some of the students and their parents. An anonymous student concluded: “I heard that the students of GZAAT were anxious the whole day, but many kids had fun, and some of the anxious people, turns out, had nothing to worry about. It was neither a positive nor negative experience in my opinion.”
As for the parents, most of them were glad to have had the opportunity to not only find out more about their kids but also to get to know the teachers on a more personal level. They believed that this would not only be beneficial for their kids but also for the school in general, since tighter bonds between the teachers, students, and parents will help bring unity to the school. Another positive aspect about the parent teacher conference was that the parents that felt like they already gathered enough information from the comments on the midterm paper were not obligated to still attend the conference.
Now, onto the group of people that some might consider the most important in these types of situations – the teachers. Many teachers shared the same opinions as the students and parents, believing that it is an enlightening experience for the families, while also giving teachers the chance to voice their opinions freely. Nino Mitsishvili, a history teacher at GZAAT said that this event is very important and useful, and she believes that these parent teacher conferences truly do make a difference and bring improvements to many students. The only downside that Mrs. Nino sees regarding these meetings are the long lines that parents have to wait in to speak with the teachers. It should be noted that many students also had this complaint. A simple solution would be to split up the classes into different times or days. Giorgi Mchedlishvili, a math teacher at GZAAT, shares the same opinion as Mrs. Nino, agreeing that the parent teacher conferences improve students' behaviors and academic performances. He also noted that he believes the parents and teachers should have a more comfortable relationship with one another, even outside the conferences. This way, they can immediately be informed about problems that the student might be facing in a certain subject. The overall attitude regarding the conference from the teachers is positive and they look forward to the next one.
This academic year's first parent teacher conference was a success. Many students, parents, and teachers were left satisfied with the experience and are looking forward to the next one. With minor organizational changes, it's safe to say that the next one will leave all three parties even more satisfied.
Edited by Anna-Maria Kand