How to Survive Your First Parent Teacher Conference
Parent Teacher Conferences are approaching quickly. Follow these simple tips for effective Parent Teacher Conferences and you’ll survive, without too many battle wounds! 😉
What is a Parent Teacher Conference?
A Parent Teacher Conference is a meeting with your child’s teacher, set up to discuss important information. It’s a chance for you to meet the teacher if you haven’t already, and to ask any questions you may have. It’s also a chance for your child’s teacher to discuss developments, concerns, and upcoming events.
Monitor your child’s homework, graded assignments, tests, and progress reports so you know how they’re doing. Keep an eye out for areas where improvement is needed, as well as any areas your child might be excelling in.
Ask your child if there is anything he or she feels should be discussed at the conference. If he or she has concerns, present them to the teacher in a non-confrontational way.
Most importantly, attend each Parent Teacher Conference with confidence and an open mind. You’re an expert on your child, so you do know what’s best – but the teacher spends all day with him/her, so the teacher knows quite a bit as well.
Questions to Ask
- Do you feel my child’s development is on task? — Discuss grades, homework assignments, etc.
- Are there any strengths or weaknesses that you notice? Discuss any areas of improvement, how to help your child improve, and make an action plan to help them increase their grades if need be.
- Is my child getting along with others? Are there behavior concerns? Is your child making friends?
- Are there special programs available to help with areas my child is excelling in? Struggling with? — Most schools have Gifted programs available for children that excell in certain areas. On that same note, they also have teachers and classes to help out with areas where your child may be struggling.
- Is there anything I can do to help out in the classroom? Obviously this is personal preference, but many teachers are overworked and underpaid, so consider volunteering time or donating supplies if you are able to.
Your Parent Teacher Conference will probably only last 15 minutes or so. There are lots of kids and parents, and few teachers. Respect the teacher’s time, and use your conference time wisely, but also make sure your questions and concerns are listened to.
Bring a list of questions if you’re prone to getting sidetracked. The teacher might have her own set of questions and comments, so it will be easy to get off track.
Focus on the positive! It’s easy to get hung up on one test score that was a zero, or one subject where your child may be struggling, but try to pay attention to the positive as well.
Relax. The teacher has been through this a million times! Okay, maybe not a million, but enough times to where they have seen many different situations, scenarios, and children. Even though it might give you a bit of anxiety to think about it, the teacher is a professional and will walk you through it! Breathe. 🙂
Do you have any tips for surviving a Parent Teacher Conference?