Updated: Jan 12
Parent Teacher Conferences are a necessary part of academic success. Conferences give teachers and parents an opportunity to team up for the betterment of their student.
But conferences can be a little nerve wrecking (dare we say scary?) for parents. Parents weren't given a guide on how to have a successful meeting with teachers. They don't always know what they should or shouldn't do or what they should or shouldn't say. And if there are any issues with the teacher or school, conferences can have an extra layer of fright to them.
However, there's no need to fret. Most teachers are understanding and are happy to have engaged and caring parents to work with to help students be successful.
HERE ARE A FEW EASY TIPS FOR PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE SUCCESS
Consistently stay abreast of what's happening with your child at school so you're not cramming at the last minute to figure out what's going on. It's a good idea to make note of questions and concerns as the school year progresses. This can be as simple as sticking a piece of paper on the fridge and jotting your questions or concerns on the paper as they arise.
PREPARE QUESTIONS AND CONCERNES AHEAD OF TIME
If you haven't started your ongoing question and concern sheet, now is the time to write everything down. While you may be able to think of these things at home, once in the meeting it's easy to forget. To make sure you get the information you need, write it down! Write down questions about things like your child's academic and social progress, the school, the classroom procedures, testing, and etc.
BE OPEN MINDED
You may hear things about your child that surprise you. Some of it may be negative and that's a difficult pill to swallow. Assume that the teacher wants what's best for your child and is only sharing negative information so that those issues can be worked on and ultimately fixed.
Express desire to work with the school for the success of your child. When it comes to a child's success in school, teachers, parents, and even the community have to work together to support the child.
Write down what is said so you can review it later. There is usually a lot of information being given. It may be difficult to keep up or completely understand all of it. Taking notes allows you to review the information at your own pace to be sure you understand everything.
GET CONTACT INFO
You've asked your questions and taken your notes, now you'll head home to review and process it all. Ask for the best contact method for any follow-up questions you may have. This opens the door for communication and shows the teacher your commitment to staying engaged in the educational process.
Download this free Parent-Teacher Conference Notes Guide to help you organize your thoughts and prepare for a successful meeting.
MORE PARENTING RESOURCES IN OUR BOOKSHOP
SEVEN QUESTIONS PARENTS MAY WANT TO ASK:
1. May I tell you about my child?
2. How is my child doing socially?
3. What can I do at home to support my child's success?
4. Is my child performing on grade level?
5. What are my child's strengths and weaknesses academically?
6. What are my child's favorite things to do at school?
7. What is the best way to contact you?