By: Parker Jackson

Conferences will be held at Laramie High School during the week of Oct. 18, giving parents the chance to speak with their children’s teachers.  

Each year, LHS hosts parent-teacher conferences as an opportunity for parents and teachers to discuss how the school year is going for their students.

Samuel Rubino, a math teacher at LHS, was interviewed about the importance of these conferences.

“I’m definitely a better teacher for students after I’ve had the chance to speak with their parents,” Rubino said.  

Rubino encourages parents and guardians to meet with their children’s teachers to collaborate on strategies to help their children succeed in school. 

During the meetings, teachers can offer their perspectives on how the class is going. 

They can create plans to help their students practice effective studying habits. 

The conferences can help to improve students’ support both at school and at home. 

Rubino calls the conferences a “positive experience” and said, “I only see benefits.” 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, parent-teacher conferences took place online last year.  

Before the pandemic, over the span of the two days scheduled for conferencing, Rubino estimates he spoke with 30-40 parents. 

Since the pandemic began, parents were less eager to attend the virtual meetings and fewer parents have attended.    

“I really miss getting to do parent-teacher conferences in person,” Rubino said. 

The entire world suddenly understood the difficulties surrounding online meetings when the COVID-19 pandemic began.  

While Zoom and other video conferencing platforms are helpful, problems commonly occur with technology.  

Audio can be cut out during meetings, leaving their audience wondering what they said.  Connectivity issues, camera problems, and other mishaps can get in the way of a quality conversation between parents and teachers.  

This can lead to an unproductive conversation and frustration on both sides of the call. 

“I’m excited to do in-person meetings,” Rubino said.  

While parents can opt for virtual meetings for the upcoming conferences, there will also be the opportunity to meet their students’ teachers face-to-face. 

“I also really enjoy it when students come,” Rubino said. 

He likes the discussion that takes place when children join their parents at the meeting.  

He likes to start the meeting by asking the students how they feel they are doing in class.  This approach allows students to voice their opinions and opens the floor for everyone to exchange tips.  

At the meetings, parents, students, and teachers can talk about how best to move forward.  

Rubino usually sees improvement in performance after conferencing. 

LHS uses a software package to help schedule the event.  

Parents get an email that allows them to see when their children’s teachers are available to meet with them.  

They can then select a 15-minute time slot that works best for them. 

If parents cannot attend, but the teachers feel extra support would benefit the student, the instructor can call the parents and decide what steps to take next.  

Teachers do what they can to ensure all their students pass their class, understand the content, and are doing well.