Parent-Teacher conferences are starting in many local schools. It is time to check in with your child’s teacher face to face, not just through email and phone calls. Yet, sometimes conferences can be awkward or unproductive. Since this may be the only time or one of two times you will meet with your child’s teachers, it should be beneficial for the parent, teacher and, most importantly, the student.
Most times when adults go into a meeting, they prepare. Your child’s conferences should be no different. Teachers prepare for the conference, and so should parents. Here are some simple ways to make the conference effective.
- Write down any questions or concerns you may have prior to the conferences, so you can discuss each of them with the teacher. Too often parents leave conferences having failed to address some issues. Many times conferences are full of emotions, which can get in the way of our ability to remember important items. However, if you have a list written out you will be less likely to forget.
- Be sure to take notes during conferences, especially if your child is not there. Children want to know what their teacher’s said–the good, bad and even the ugly (okay, maybe the kid doesn’t want to hear the ugly). It is especially important for middle school and high school conferences because parents are visiting the numerous teachers.
- Stay on task. Each parent/student is allotted only so much time to meet with the teacher. If either the parent or teacher go on a tangent precious time is lost. Also, be considerate of the parents waiting to visit with the teacher after you. If a conference runs long, it has a snowball effect for the conferences that come after.
It is so important that you attend conferences. Teachers appreciated involved parents and kids do, too.
What tools do you use at parent-teacher conferences? Do you have a memorable moment from a past conference?