How to Make the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences
Tips for maximizing the time you have during parent-teacher conferences, plus the ten questions you should ask your child's teacher
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!
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!
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