This year there will be three parent-teacher conferences. They’ll be held on November 28th– December 2nd, February 15th-17th, and May 2nd– 4th. It’s important not wait until the last minute to prepare for the conferences.
Before the conferences, schools hold a back-to-school night when parents will be able to meet the teacher and find out what the responsibilities for both parent and child are. At this meeting you’ll find out about homework, upcoming events and what’ll be taught this year. It’s a good way of developing a positive relationship with the person who will be spending a lot of time with your child, the teacher.
A month before the conferences a form will be sent home telling you when your conference is scheduled for. If this isn’t a good time, call the school right away. Otherwise, make sure you sign it and send it back in with your child.
It’s important to always go to meet with the teacher at every scheduled conference. Kids aren’t always forthcoming with information, but the teacher always is. It’s the best way to stop problems before they start such as low test scores, missing assignments and behavior problems.
Make sure that you get to the conference on time. The teachers have conferences lined up one after another and if you’re late you won’t be able to “squeeze in”.
Go with a “let me listen attitude”. Write down any questions you may have and don’t rely on your “head list”. Remember that you and the teacher have similar goals: that your child does well and succeed. Always remember that you and the teacher are there to support each other.
If your child is a special education student this is also a time to review the IEP and to make any necessary changes.
Always let the teacher know when there have been any changes such as your telephone number or address. Be available to discuss any problems your child is having. Also get an email address for your teacher so you can communication with them whenever something should come up. Every teacher in the Philadelphia School District has an email address through the district’s website.
Remember, it’s not about being right. Sometimes the teacher, child and even the parent is wrong. It’s about what’s in the best interest of the child. And for you to keep your sanity for one more year.