An online meeting can accommodate busy teachers and parents for school conferences

Monday, November 21 2011

Video conferencing could be the solution to setting up parent-teacher meetings when their busy schedules cannot accommodate a physical face-to-face conference.

Parents of children in secondary schools have hectic days filled with work, soccer practices, piano lessons and family dinners. The teachers of those students have jam-packed schedules as well, leaving little room for flexibility in either of their daily agendas.

Because these conferences are crucial to the educational and personal development of the child, scheduling a video conference may be more effective than canceling the meeting altogether or rescheduling it as a phone meeting.

During a conference, the Harvard Family Research Project advises that teachers have schoolwork completed by the student accessible during the meeting to show parents her improvement. With video conferencing, teachers can implement this advice and physically show the parents any tests or projects that they would normally present in a face-to-face interview. 

Simply filling the parents' ears with positive words about their children is not the teacher's goal. The meetings are a balance of positive feedback and advice regarding areas of improvement. Parents can read the teacher's nonverbal communication cues while listening to her explain what the child may need to improve upon. A message can be better understood with video conferencing as opposed to simply over the phone.