Parent-Teacher conferences are an opportunity to learn more about your child’s learning style and progress. It is also a good time to raise questions or concerns you might have about your child. A good conference is a two-way exchange of information, as teachers learn from a child’s parents and parents are able to learn more about their child in settings outside the home. Educational Consultant and Parenting Coach, Chrissy Khachane, has a few tips for parents as they prepare for parent-teacher conferences.
1. Ask yourself some questions. What are my child’s strengths? Is there anything he/she needs help with? It you have concerns about your child consider bringing works samples or jotting down anecdotal notes to help illustrate your points.
2. Be ready to really listen. Teachers get to see children in a group setting, something parents can’t often do. You might hear about skills or characteristics you never knew your child had. If, however, the teacher tells you something that worries you, or if there are terms you don’t understand, be sure to ask for more information. Take time to process the feedback from the teacher before reacting and, if needed, set up a follow up appointment to revisit any topics that were discussed.
3. Be prepared to plan together. If some action needs to be taken to help your child, you and the teacher will figure out what needs to be done as a team. Offer suggestions and ask what you can do at home. Establish a means for more frequent communication (e.g. weekly email update or daily journal message) to follow up on the concerns discussed.