I have a beef and a question to ask of all the teachers out there regarding Parent Teacher Conference days.
In my home county of Frederick County Maryland, there are several days each year set aside for teachers to conduct parent teacher conferences. In the fall, because teachers meet with the parents of all kids, there are three days in a row in which there are half days, i.e. the students go in four hours late or leave three and a half hours early. In the spring, there are two days since the teachers don't meet with every child's parents. (I should note that the teachers my daughter has had are very reliable with email and are willing to meet if necessary).
The downside to these availabilities is that, of course, it messes with my schedule on a supreme level. I, of course, make time to meet with the teacher. But I also have to make arrangements for the care of my daughter on those other days when she goes in late or leaves early. That is hugely disruptive to my schedule and I am sure the schedules of every other parent. For example, one day students will go is four hours late. The next day, they will get dismissed three hours early.
So here is my question, why break the days up? Why do we have to disrupt two or three school days by late arrival or early dismissal when a whole day can be set aside for conferences and not disrupt multiple days for students and their parents. It is far easier to find care for my daughter for one full day off than two half days with different time frames.
I remember from my school day (oh so many years ago), I don't recall getting out early or going in late for parent teacher conferences. Back then teachers had full teacher planning days, where I assume planning, parent conferences and professional development took place. (I have to assume since when I was a kid, I just looked at the day off as a day off.) So when and why did it change. At least in Frederick County, teachers have professional development days separate from teacher work session days and separate from parent conference days. It seems incredibly inefficient.
I would love to see and explation for this structure.