PARENT CONFERENCES ON THE GO!
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS YOU CAN USE IN ORDER TO MAKE YOUR PARENT CONFERENCE PRODUCTIVE FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILD
Goal: The goal of the Parent Conference is for the teacher to inform you of your child’s overall school performance. Discussions in this meeting can include: your child’s academic progress, social progress, behavior at school, strong and weak areas, current reading and math levels, the effort they are putting in their subjects, language proficiency, absences and tardies. In addition, the teacher may offer a comparison of your child’s ability level in relation to his/her peers. This is also a time for the teacher and parent(s) to join forces and form a team so that the child may benefit and improve his/her performance. The teacher may also include state results from your child’s previous years.
BEFORE PARENT CONFERENCES
To prepare for Parent-Teacher Conferences, you may want to ask your child the following questions before meeting with his/her teacher:
What do you like about school?
What do you not like about school?
Do you have any concerns about school?
How do you think you are doing at school?
What kind of grades should I expect to see on the report card?
What do you think you need to improve on?
How can the teacher help you in that area?
What schoolwork are you most proud of?
What have you put a lot of effort into the last quarter?
What do you think I can do at home to help you with your schooling?
To prepare for Parent-Teacher Conferences, you may want to ask yourself the following questions before meeting with your child’s teacher:
What has my child been telling me about school in the last six weeks?
What attitudes has my child been displaying at home in regards to school?
Has my child had any difficulties with completing homework? If so, in what subject areas?
What are my concerns about the school’s programs and policies?
What kind of problems is my child experiencing that I need to discuss with his/her teacher?
DURING PARENT CONFERENCES
Some good questions to ask the teacher during Parent Conferences may include (select a few):
How is my child doing in the classroom?
Is my child working up to his/her ability?
What does my child need to improve on?
How well does my child get along with others?
Can I see some evidence of my child’s work?
What skills and knowledge is my child expected to master?
Does my child participate in class discussions and activities?
Have you noticed any sudden changes in the way my child acts? For example, have you noticed any squinting, tiredness, or moodiness that might be a sign of physical or other problems?
How does my child do compared to other children of his/her same age?
What programs does the school offer to help my child before or after school?
What can I do at home to help my child do better in school?
OPTIONAL ACTION PLAN
If the answers to the questions above indicate a need, you and the teacher may want to develop an Action Plan at the Parent Conference.
This plan is designed to help you (and the teacher) support your child’s needs. Be sure to ask the teacher-specific suggestions on ways to help your child do better. This is the most important part of the meeting.
If the teacher says something you don’t quite understand, don’t be shy about asking for an explanation.
It’s a good idea to end the conference by summing up decisions you’ve made together.
To see if the action plan is working, watch your child’s behavior and check your child’s class and homework, and communicate with the teacher often.
AFTER THE PARENT CONFERENCE
Concluding the Parent-Teacher Conference, make sure that:
If there is insufficient time to discuss all your questions/concerns and your child’s performance, or if there are follow-up discussions required, ask for another appointment.
Talk to your child about the discussion between you and the teacher during the Parent Conference. If an Action Plan was created, discuss it in detail with your child.
Remember to follow the teacher’s recommendations at home.