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Parent Teacher Conferences

Nov 9, 2015
 
 

Stressed about parent-teacher conferences?  We can help.

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From kindergarten through high school, effective communication with your child’s teachers can contribute to school success. A shared view of your child’s talents and needs, appropriate goals for progress, and a workable plan can foster the right conditions for a great school year.

Yet, the anticipation of a parent-teacher conference can make some parents apprehensive. You may wonder how your child compares to classmates, or that you aren’t asking the right questions, or that the teacher doesn’t share your concerns, or that she is very concerned, or all of the above!

We have found that working out a plan for such an important meeting will not only allay your worries, but will help facilitate a more effective meeting.

Let’s make your next parent-teacher conference a touchstone for a great year of communication—and learning.

Top 3 Ways to Prepare for a Parent-Teacher Conference:

Gather

Identify the topics you want to discuss. Don’t do it alone. Ask your child his/her easiest and hardest subjects. Find out if there is anything he/she would like you to speak to the teacher about. Topics might include: academics, social concerns, and homework.

Engage

Compose specific questions to flesh out the topics and ensure the meeting is productive. For example, if you want to talk about reading skills, you might want to know: “Is he making progress?” “Do you notice her struggling in class while reading out loud?” Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need clarification regarding something the teacher says. Also, be on time. There are other conferences scheduled for that day.  If you’re late, you may miss your conference altogether.

Plan

Create a plan of action that involves you, the teacher, your child, and other key people, like tutors or therapists. The plan should include specific suggestions of ways you can help at home. Talk to your child after the conference and tell him what was discussed. Make sure you talk about the positive points, but be direct about problems. If you and the teacher created an action plan, explain it to your child. Make sure your child understands that you and the teacher created this plan to help him find success. Set the action plan in motion. Check progress reports on your child’s behavior and schoolwork on a regular basis. After a few weeks, review the plan with the teacher. It’s important to also talk to your child about what is happening in the classroom. If something isn’t working, he may be able to provide some insights to you and the teacher.

Extra help recommended?

We are here to help with a Winter Break Instruction Special. Learn More

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