Parent-Teacher conferences can be a stressful time for many parents. How can a parent go in with more confidence and be prepared to work together with the teacher? Given that this is a brief time to discuss your child’s academics and social behavior in class, here are some practical ways to make this time most effective.
Write Down Questions
Take some time to jot down things you want to discuss during the conference. Send a note, email or conference sheet ahead of time to the teacher so that he/she will be prepared to discuss your questions with you. You can ask about how they are progressing in Reading, what your child is working on in Math, or how your child is doing socially with peers in class. Be specific and provide the teacher with any information that could affect the child’s learning.
Many teachers want to work together with you. Conference times would be most beneficial if it is not confrontational but a collaborative effort to develop a plan to help your child reach their potential. If there are areas of concern, have specific examples you can explain without being abrasive and blaming. The more you keep a teamwork mentality and inform the teacher of what you observe as a parent, the more the teacher will be able to best meet your child’s needs.
Leave With a Plan
Discuss with the teacher what you could do to support the child at home with homework, social skills, or any other area you are concerned about. The teacher may also discuss what they will be doing to work with your child. You could initiate and follow up about how your child is doing in these areas throughout the school year.