The time of year for parent-teacher conferences to be scheduled has arrived for most of our schools and early education centers. Both first-time teachers and first-time parents sometimes agonize over getting ready for the first conference. Even veteran parents and teachers will get nervous as the day approaches for the conference. The most important thing to remember is that your child’s teacher has his/her best interest in mind, and wants to have a good rapport with the parent.
There are many ways to maximize the success of the conference. One way is to arrive at the conference with a list of questions for the teacher. Each question can be addressed during the conference. Prioritize your questions in order to use the time wisely. Allow the teacher to lead the conference. Teachers will discuss the child’s progress at the beginning of the conference. This will lead into a discussion of the child’s strengths and weaknesses. Both parents and teachers should open the conference with positive ideas about the child. Teachers will often have a portfolio of the child’s work to show the parent. Portfolios are a great tool to use at a conference. Most teachers now use portfolios as a tool to monitor the child’s progress throughout the year. It is a great idea for the child to participate in the conference is possible in order for them to show off their portfolioof work. Children also get nervous about having their parent talk with the teacher. Allowing them to participate will ease their thoughts about what the teacher might say to their parents.
Having a comfortable seating arrangement with a table and chairs is a point to consider. Parents can be intimidated by a teacher who sits behind a desk. Both parents and teachers should discuss goals that are set for the child for the school year. Teachers should have on hand publications or brochures that will be helpful for the parent to take home. Conferences should end with a clear action plan for the child’s school year. There should be plans put in place for on-going communication with the parent throughout the school year.
Most school calendars and schedules for parent-teacher conferences are placed on the school’s website at this time of the year. St. Paul’s Early Childhood Learning Center in Sarasota is one example of having the parent-teacher schedule already in place. Dates for conferences at this early childhood education center have been set for late October. This ensures that parents have ample time to put the conference on their calendar. The dates for these conferences at St. Paul’s Early Childhood Learning Center have been divided by classrooms. St. Paul’s Early Childhood Learning Center is located at 2256 Bahia Vista in Sarasota.