It’s that time of the year!
No, I’m not referring to the arrival of Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks!
It’s Parent Teacher Conference time- your chance to get a behind the scenes, expert look at how your child is doing at school. Conferences usually happen twice a year – Fall and Spring. If your child’s school doesn’t routinely offer these meetings, consider requesting a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and goals.
It’s smart to think ahead and prepare for your time with the teacher, so you can make the most of the opportunity. Plus being prepared shows the teacher you truly care about your child’s education and that you respect the teacher’s time.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for your time with the teacher:
- Before your conference, talk with your child about how he/she likes school. Ask her how she feels she is doing in her classes. Ask her if she understands the work or if she feels like she needs help in any areas. For tips on how to get your child to open up and talk about school, check out this post.
- Assess your own thoughts about the school, the classroom and teacher, the work load, and your child’s needs. Do you think those needs are being met? Do you have a good understanding about what your child’s school day is like? Are there any issues at home or lifestyle changes that the teacher should be made aware of?
- Take time to write down questions or concerns you have, so you don’t forget anything. Bring your notes and a pen with you to the meeting.
- Before the meeting, find out exactly where to find the teacher (in her classroom or in an office) and what time to be there. Arrive a little early.
- Wrap up the meeting in a timely fashion. Teachers are busy and she most likely has another parent coming in after you.
- Have an open, positive attitude during the meeting keeping in mind that you and the teacher are on the same team.
Here are some questions you might ask your child’s teacher:
- Does my child participate in class? Does she ask for help when needed?
- Does my child seem to like school?
- How does my child interact with peers?
- Does my child turn in his/her homework?
- Is my child performing on grade level?
- What is the best way for me to communicate with you?
- What can I do to help at home?