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Conferences

It’s that time of year. Again. Conferences are here. Teachers are imbibing on massive quantity of caffeinated beverages. Parents are . . . nowhere to be found. I can count the number of parents I have seen in the last 3 conference nights on both hands. This is a gross waste of time and money. Education is changing rapidly and has been changed for some time now. Why are we still using this archaic form of parent outreach, especially at the secondary level? Yes, conferences tend to have great turnout at the elementary level; however, even these numbers are in steady decline. What is more, the vast majority of our ELL population have families who struggle to attend conferences due to a variety of reasons. 

One of the major reasons is that the scheduling of conferences is a huge pain in the ass to people who work shifts. Let’s get real here, conferences are founded in the idea of the nuclear family. Getting even more real, let’s face it, that family is white. I’m sure that someone, somewhere is going to read that part and get their undies contorted. But in the words of one of my favorite students, “Ay, no me importa.” I second those feelings. I cannot force you to see how systems function and one thing impacts another and plays a part. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that conferences are racist. I AM saying that conferences perpetuate racism. There are many other factors that apply when keeping up with a 50 year old tradition based on whatever values they were based on. I keep hearing Dr. Garcia’s words in my mind as she asked us to question things that have been normalized. So the real question I have is, why are we still catering to an imaginary crowd? 

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