It takes parents and teachers working together as PARTNERS, and one of the most important parts of this partnership is the parent/teacher conference. Parent/Teacher conference gives you an opportunity to see how things are going at your child’s school and to catch any problems before they get too big to handle. Here are some suggestions for making the most of your parent/teacher conference and becoming a part of the team.
- Be prepared.
- Most school systems hold regularly scheduled parent/teacher conferences.
- The purpose of those meetings is to report on your child’s progress or identify problems.
- As a parent, you can request a conference when you have concerns.
- Think about what can be accomplished in the time you have. What is the purpose of the conference and what will you be talking about? Generally you will talk about
- Academic Performance – How is my child doing with his/her school work?
- Social Development – How well does my child get along with others?
- Emotional Development – How well does my child deal with problems?
- Physical Development – Is my child’s physical abilities on target with what’s expected of a child his/her age?
- Classroom Behavior – How well does my child listen and obey you and other adults? Does s/he respect the other students in the classroom?
Make a list of what you want to ask or talk about prior to the set meeting date/timeframe. If possible, share your list with the teacher so s/he can be prepared at the conference. Write down the teacher’s comments so you do not forget them.
- At the conference.
- Establish conference objectives from the beginning and make sure you all stay focused.
- Be confident. Do not be afraid to ask questions or express your opinions. Remember you and the teacher are equal partners working together for your child’s education.
2. Closing the conference.
- Before ending the conference make sure that you have a clear understanding of what was said.
- Schedule a follow-up conference, if needed.
- Share what you talked about at the conference with your child in language s/he will understand and comprehend. If there are problems or just things that need to be worked on, you will have better success if your child knows that you and the teacher are working together as a team.
Parent/teacher conferences are good opportunities for communication, but no the only way or even the best way to be involved with your child’s learning. Do not let the parent/teacher conference be the only time you see your child’s teacher. Promise yourself to visit the school more often and to be more involved in the future. Remember, a winning team takes equal effort from all of its members and effective parent/teacher conferencing is a good place to start.
As a parent, you set the model that your child will follow. You can use everyday activities to help your child develop basic skills and confidence. Close communication with your child’s growth in kindergarten and beyond.