School: 7 Tips for a Successful Parent-Teacher Conference
7 Tips For a Successful Parent-Teacher Conference
1. Prepare in Advance
Parent-teacher conferences can go by quickly. You will want to be sure that you are prepared and ready to address any questions or concerns you might have. Some questions you might ask are:
- Is my child meeting the proficiency levels for the grade in reading, math, and other subjects?
- Is there anything I can do to help my child do better at school?
- What is the easiest way for us to communicate so I’m aware of any problems that may arise at school?
Prioritize the questions in case time does run out and you need to follow-up with the teacher at a later date.
2. Talk to Your Child
Talk to your child prior to the conference about how he or she feels about school. Talk about what he or she likes and don’t like about school, who he or she plays with, what he or she is learning about, and if there is anything he or she is struggling with on an academic or social level. Let your child know that you will be meeting with the teacher, but that there is no need to worry about it. Tell your child that the meeting will be beneficial to your child and that you’re glad to ask any questions that he or she might have for the teacher.
3. Ask for Clarification
Although time is limited at parent-teacher conference, be sure to ask for clarification if there is something that comes up that you don’t understand. During the meeting, your child’s teacher will probably talk about the progress your child has shown so far this year, behavior, homework assignments, and grades. The teacher might also provide some samples of your child’s work from class. The teacher will also use the meeting to address any questions or concerns.
4. Share Personal Details as Needed
Be open to sharing relevant personal details with your child’s teacher. For example, if your child has any medical issues that might affect him or her at school, your child’s teacher should be aware of them. If there is any major life issues going on at home like divorce, serious illness, or the death of someone close to your child, it might affect your child’s performance at school. Let the teacher know about it in case something does come up during school hours so the teacher can be better prepared to handle the situation.
5. Keep an Open Mind
The teacher may tell you that your child is struggling in certain areas. My best advice is to be open to the teacher's feedback. Parents can be particularly sensitive when they hear their child is not doing as well as they would like. Ask questions and for specific examples instead of getting defensive or angry. Come up with a plan for what things you can do to better support your child.
6. Express Gratitude
Before leaving, be sure to thank your child’s teacher for all the work that is being done on their behalf. If additional questions or concerns about your child’s school performance come up, schedule another meeting with the teacher. Speaking with your child’s teacher doesn’t just need to be reserved for parent-teacher conference.
7. Take Action as Needed
If there are areas that your child needs additional support with outside of school, there are a variety of educational resources parents can turn to for help. For example, children who are just learning to read or are struggling with reading could use a program like StudyDog to help them, while receiving one-on-one support for their unique reading needs.
What are you doing to make sure your parent-teacher conference is successful?
Kellie Englehardt is a Salt Lake City based blogger that blogs on behalf of StudyDog. Kellie graduated from the University of Utah in Mass Communications. In her free time she enjoys traveling, skiing, doing art projects, and exploring Utah.
StudyDog is offering an exclusive discount to Mom It Forward readers. Visit https://www.studydog.com/paren
Featured image courtesy of Flickr.
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