It’s that time of year again to schedule a parent-teacher conference. Many think these meetings are solely for addressing problematic behaviors and failing grades. However, parent-teacher conferences are a great way to ensure your child gets the support they need and gives you a glimpse at their school life. This is when you can see your child’s strengths and identify where they can improve.
Parent-teacher conferences are also the time to share with the teachers any changes your child may be facing in their personal life or if there are any academic challenges they may have brought up at home. This is the time to get to know the teacher and form a partnership to give your child the best support they need.
Below are a few parent-teacher conference tips to remember.
Arrive Early and Prepared
Parent-teacher conferences can be nerve-wracking, so prepare your questions and notes beforehand. You should have received a folder full of school policies, classroom rules, and a schedule for the school year. Use that same folder to keep track of big assignments, test scores, and other important documents.
Bring that folder with you to the parent-teacher conference to reference when discussing strengths and opportunities for improvement. Don’t worry if you don’t have all of your child’s school materials, bring what you have and write down any questions or concerns.
Go In With a Positive Mindset
When we were children, we remember these meetings as being scary. However, as parents, we want to ensure that our children are on the right track to success. Instead of going into the meeting with a negative attitude, start the discussion with a compliment. Starting the meeting on the right foot is vital for an effective conference.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
If you have a million questions, ask a million and one questions. These meetings aim to ensure your child succeeds in the classroom. A parent-teacher conference tip to remember is to ask the teacher questions about your child’s grades, habits, friendships, and character. This could spark an insightful conversation and bring some things to your attention.
If your child has a developmental disability, like autism, your child’s teacher must accommodate them. Asking them questions about their teaching style and your child’s improvement is key to your child’s comprehension and success. Don’t hesitate to share tips with the teacher to help better support your child.
Don’t Meet Only Once a Year
Don’t let this parent-teacher conference be the only time you and the teacher communicate! During the meeting, exchange contact information and establish times to meet or discuss your child’s improvements and opportunities. This will help you and your child’s teacher find ways to support them academically.