Making the most of your parent-teacher conference
Parent-teacher conferences are a critical time when parents and teachers come together as a team to discuss ways to help a child succeed.
Here are some suggestions to prepare for the meeting:
- Schedule an appointment and make sure you arrive on time. Jot down a list of questions or issues you want to discuss with the teacher.
- Sit down with your child before the meeting and ask if he or she has any questions or concerns they want you to ask the teacher. If your student is older than elementary level, you may want to have your child attend the conference with you.
- During the initial moments of the conference, point out something positive about the teacher's classroom or abilities. This serves to establish a positive rapport.
- Ask your important questions first should time be a factor. If your child receives special services, make sure to discuss those services and how often they are provided.
- If you need to address a problem, keep your voice neutral. Avoid becoming angry or apologetic. Ask for examples and ask what strategies are in place to remedy the problem.
- Develop an action plan for any type of problem, whether it be academic or social. Devise a way to check on your child's progress and determine how best it is to stay in touch with the teacher.
- Discuss the conference with your child and stress the positive attributes that were covered and be direct about problems that were discussed. Explain the action plan that was developed with the teacher and express your expectations of your child for the future. When a child sees that their parent and teacher are working together, they will see that education is a high priority that requires their commitment and effort.