It’s that time of year again! Parents everywhere are meeting with their children’s teachers to discuss their progress at parent-teacher conferences. The most influential people in a child’s life are often their parents and teachers. Working together and meeting at parent-teacher conference are an important part of your child’s academic success. StudyDog provided the following tips for a successful parent-teacher conference.
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 am 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.
Talk to Your Child
Talk to your child prior to the conference about how they feel about school. Talk about what they like and do not like about school, who they play with, what they are learning about, and if there is anything they are struggling with on an academic or social level. Let your child know that you will be meeting with their teacher, but they do not need to worry about it. Tell them that the meeting will be beneficial to them and that you are glad to ask any questions that they might have for their teacher.
Ask for Clarification
Although time is limited at a parent-teacher conference, be sure to ask for clarification if there is something that comes up that you do not 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. They may also provide some samples of your child’s work from class. They will also use the meeting to address any questions or concerns they might have.
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 them at school, your child’s teacher should be aware of it. 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 they can be better prepared to handle the situation.
Keep an Open Mind
The teacher may tell you that your child is struggling in certain areas; be open to their 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.
Before leaving, be sure to thank your child’s teacher for all the work they are doing 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.
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 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.
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