Tips for Great Parent Teacher Conferences
It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again. Didn’t we just step off the beach 5 minutes ago? Ok maybe not, but here we go, parent/teacher conferences.
While every situation, child, classroom and teacher are different, here are a few tips on making your conferences productive:
1. Prepare ahead of time.
Look at the work your child brings home to gage how they are doing.
Talk to your child on a regular basis about how school is going for them.
I would suggest that you don’t just ask: “How is school going?” because you will get the answer “Fine.”
Instead, ask questions that will enlist more than one word answers.
“What subjects do you like best and why?”
“Are you struggling with any of your work?”
“Who is your favorite teacher?” and “What do you like about their class?”
“Who do you hang out with at lunch/recess?” and “Are there any kids that you avoid? And why?”
2. Be ready with the questions you want to ask before going to the conference, write them down if you need to.
a. Is my child keeping up with the rest of the class? Do you see any learning disabilities or does my child need to be challenged more in the classroom?
b. What are my child’s strong points?
c. Does my child participate in the classroom?
d. How does my child get along with others?
e. If the child is struggling with bad grades, is there anything they can do for extra credit?
3. Let the conference be a two way conversation, don’t do all the talking, but your input is very important to a good relationship with their teacher.
4. See the teacher as a partner in our child’s learning. I haven’t always been thrilled with my child’s teacher or their teaching style but unless the situation is beyond repair, it is best to try and work things out.
5. Thank the teacher and ask for his/her suggestions on what you can do at home to help your child with his/her schoolwork.
6. Pray for their teacher and your student. Lauren and I pray together each day on the way to school.
We’ve had up and down moments through the school years.
My kids didn’t always give school their best effort but it helped when we stayed engaged in what they were doing and kept accountability by asking them about their assignments and stopping in to the classroom to check in with the teacher.
Conferences with the teacher also helped keep me on my toes because face it, we’re moms, we have a million things needing our attention. A good partnership with our child’s teacher can be a great thing for us real moms!
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