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How to Make the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

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Really there’s only one question you need to ask your child’s teacher.

“How can I best help YOU help MY child?”

Parent-Teacher conferences usually show up on a parent’s agenda twice per school year – possibly the most important school-parent responsibility. 

Attend your parent-teacher conferences with a game plan, but above all, remember it’s a team sport. You and your student are definitely the players, and the teacher is the coach. Listen actively, and let him or her guide you. In the end, your willingness to be a team player will go a long way to fostering a great learning experience for everyone involved!

10 Questions to Get Your Parent-Teacher Game On: 

  1. What would you say are my child’s strengths?
  2. What are the biggest opportunities for improvement?
  3. How is my child getting along socially with other children?
  4. What does my child’s class conduct tell you about how (s)he learns best? 
  5. What examples can you show me of my child's work?
  6. Are my child’s assignments completed on time and at an appropriate performance level?
  7. How can I track my child’s performance throughout the year?
  8. Do you have suggestions for things we can do at home to supplement classroom learning?  (recommend books, educational games, etc.)
  9. How can I help you in the classroom? (Being a classroom volunteer, even once a month, gives the teacher more time to focus on individual needs.)
  10. What am I not asking or noticing that I should be?

Above all, the parent-teacher conference is the start (or continuation) of a conversation.  Use this time to recognize strengths, voice concerns and actively listen to issues, then schedule follow-up meetings as needed to work on detailed actions. Game ON!

Teacher Tip:  Get parents scheduled for conferences quickly and easily with a free online signup sheet calendar and automated reminders by VolunteerSpot.com. 

VolunteerSpot is the fastest, easiest way to organize parents and volunteers for school, team and community activities. No more reply-all email chains! Get FREE online signup sheets and volunteer scheduling at VolunteerSpot.com.

The relationship between parent and teacher is vital when it comes to your child's education.  Parent-teacher conferences provide the ultimate communication channel for partnership and understanding - prepare for your child's conference with these VolunteerSpot tips!

Top Tips for your Parent-Teacher Conference:

1.  Be on time!  Remember, 5 minutes early is 'on time,' and 'on time' is late.  Mark your calendar and set a reminder in your phone or on your computer.

2.  Be prepared!  Really there’s only one
question you need to ask your child’s teacher:  How can I best help YOU help MY child?  Have these other questions in mind, however, and be ready to LISTEN to your teacher's answers, suggestions, and recommendations.

  • What would you say are my child’s strengths & learning opportunities?
  • How would you rate my child’s behavior and what does it tell you about my child’s learning style? 
  • How should I track my child’s performance? Are there examples of my child’s work and is it completed on time and at an appropriate performance level?
  • Do you have suggestions for things we can do at home to better support my child’s learning? What types of books and educational games do you recommend for my learner? Is there a list of suggested readings?
  • How would you grade my child’s social behavior, do you have any suggestions for him or her when it comes to friends?
  • What am I not asking or noticing that I should be?

3.   Write it down!  Don't hesitate to take pen and paper and write down important notes your child's teacher makes regarding your child's learning successes and areas of improvement.  Digest the discussion then refer to your notes at a later time to refresh.

4.  Share with your child!  Let your child know what YOU learned about his or her classroom successes and behaviors.  Note some of your favorite aspects of the classroom and what you liked most about the teacher. Take a camera and photograph favorite artwork you liked in the room!

Attending conferences might seem like just another bullet point on a parent’s already lengthy to-do list, but attending with the goal to enhance your parent-teacher relationship will make it a positive experience for everyone involved!

VolunteerSpot is the fastest, easiest way to organize parents and volunteers for school, team and community activities. No more reply-all email chains! Get FREE online signup sheets and volunteer scheduling at VolunteerSpot.com

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