Parent-teacher conferences are an excellent opportunity for parents and teachers to team up for raising students achievement. When teachers schedule parent-teacher conferences, they are signaling how important parent partnership is to the success and achievement of their children.
There are websites that tell parents how important attendance at children’s parent teacher conferences are and how to get the most value from them. One of the best is kidshealth.org/en/parents/parent-teacher-conferences.html#.
To get the most out of your time with your children’s teachers, www.empoweringparents.com has the following suggestions:
Ask your children questions about school that will help you work with their teachers.
Open your conversation with the teacher with something positive about the teacher. This sets the stage for a respectful exchange of information about your child.
If you have concerns about something that has happened to your child in the classroom, send a note ahead of time so the teacher can be prepared to explain.
If you have questions, write them down before your conference so you get answers.
Ask the teacher to explain things you or your child do not understand, especially if it entails your child’s homework or the amount of time he/she spends doing homework assigned.
Ask if your child is performing close to the expected level for his/her class and what you can do to help.
Share information about your child and his/her behavior at home in order for the teacher to understand more about your child. You help the teacher know something that will help your child remain calm in stressful situations. Help the teacher remember “triggers” that you may have shared earlier in the year.
Be sure to check all emergency information, especially if you have moved, changed your phone numbers, or who can pick up your child from school. The school must be able to get in touch with you in any emergency situation.
Above all, smile and thank the teacher for her time.
Be sure to put your scheduled time on the calendar and if you are unable to attend, let the teacher know.
Talk to all of your children’s teachers if possible. A “good” child may feel that his or her sibling gets more attention because of their “bratty” behavior. Sibling rivalry is real and can be as destructive as bullying at school.
Parents, enjoy a valuable and successful p-t conference!
Submitted by former educator Bette Mroz