Parent-Teacher Conference Tips

You typically don’t have a lot of time at Parent-Teacher Conferences, so make the most of them by using some of the following suggestions

Prior to attending: 

  • Look over your child’s schoolwork.  This can give you a sense of how they are doing.  Do they usually get acceptable/exemplary marks?  Do they usually receive tips about how to improve? 
  • Talk with your child:  Have them evaluate each of the following areas (coincidentally, these are the same questions to ask your child’s teacher,)
    • How do you feel you are doing in:
      • Reading
      • Spelling
      • Writing
      • Math/problem solving
      • Homework completion
      • Class participation
      • Managing time/staying on task
      • Getting along with peers
      • Respectful of peers and teachers
      • Desire to learn
  • Ask your child which of the above areas they feel they do best and which areas they would like to concentrate on making more progress. Be sure to cover this with your child’s teacher!
  • Lastly, ask your child is there is anything he/she would like you to discuss.

During the conference:

  • Cover all the above questions with your child’s teacher. 
  • You may want to know where they “rank” when compared to their peers.  It doesn’t have to be specific, but rather “on track,” “accelerated,” “needs additional help for most tasks,” etc.  This “ranking” can give you additional info when evaluating how your child is performing in the classroom.
  • Ask if they can typically do the work assigned or if they usually need extra support to compete the assignments.   
  • Be sure to chat about the area in which your child would like to make progress and see if the teacher agrees
  • Cover anything your child wanted you to discuss
  • If there is anything you and the teacher agree needs to be accomplished, ask what the best way is to follow up – weekly email, for example.  Please offer to initiate the contact.
  • Offer any support for the teacher that you can:  help with field trips, class parties, reading to students, etc.  If you are unable to get away during school hours, offer to cut things out or do special projects at home. 

After the conference:

  • Cover the conference with your child.  Celebrate the things they are doing well! 
  • Report any discussions regarding what they were concerned about. 
  • Share with them the path that all are going to embark upon, if follow up is necessary. 
  • If follow up steps have been discussed, be sure to follow up in the agreed upon way. 

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