Parent-teacher conferences are an important aspect of your child’s education. The goal of parent-teacher conferences is to ensure the child is doing well in school and if they aren’t, to make a plan to help the child succeed in school. By preparing for the upcoming conference ahead of time may help to ensure the meeting is pleasant and productive.
Anticipate what the teacher may say- Starting with the first day of the new school year, save your child’s homework assignments and test scores, so you can somewhat have an idea of what the teacher may say about your child. However, keep in mind that your child may have missing homework assignments or poor test scores they may not have given you.
Have a talk with your child- Ask your child how they think they are doing in class. Also, ask them about the kids in the class as well as what goes on at lunchtime and recess. You want to get all the positives and the negatives from your child.
Make a list of questions for the teacher- Parent-teacher conferences do not usually last more than 10-15 minutes, giving you a small window to ask the questions you want. Chances are you aren’t going to remember all the questions you want answers to, so by jotting them down on paper, you won’t have to remember. Questions like what the teacher thinks your child is especially good at, what areas they may need improvement, how they are doing socially in class and if they are performing at grade level, are all important questions.
Arrive on time and with the right attitude- Again, because parent-teacher conferences are so limited time-wise, you want to be on time or even early for your scheduled conference time. Also, it is important to enter the conferences with a positive attitude and an open mind. It is natural for parents to get defensive in the event someone says something negative about their child. However, you can address any possible issues with the teacher in a respectful way.