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4 Strategies for a Successful Parent Teacher Conference

Monday, 31 October, 2022 - 1:00 pm

 4 Strategies for Successful Parent Teacher Conference

Parent Teacher Conferences are a valuable opportunity to partner with your child’s teacher and gain the perspective of trained professionals who spend a great deal of time with your child.  Teachers often have the chance to see children in ways different from parents. Just like parents do at work, children show many different sides of themselves at school. Teachers observe children interacting with others in a variety of contexts. They are objective observers in the classroom, playground, special classes, activities, and events. In addition to sharing a unique perspective on your student’s abilities, challenges, strengths, and areas for growth, they have a wealth of understanding of the specific age level and experience supporting success. Planning will help make your teacher conference productive and even pleasant.

Teachers are just as interested in your input as you are in theirs. Teachers benefit from knowing about any changes or challenges your child might face at home and how they behave at home compared to school. Sharing what you know about your child's comfort level in the classroom is valuable information for teachers - whether they have found their niche at school and seem stressed or happy are all important clues to your child’s social and emotional well-being. This is the time to talk about your child’s whole experience at school, including their academic progress and social-emotional and character development. Partnership and open communication ensure that your child's teachers will understand their needs better and support them in the classroom most effectively. 

  1. Create a folder at the beginning of the year to store test scores, significant homework assignments, and notes (about things your child has told you or any other topics you want to address). Having clear examples and specifics helps your child’s teacher understand your concerns as a parent and can better address your child’s challenges. 

  1. Talk to your child. Ask how they are doing in class, what's going on during lunchtime, and recess, and when she goes to special classes like music, art, or PE. Be sure to ask about the positive and challenging or less “favorite” aspects of school. Your child’s perspective is an important part of their growth and success in school.

  1. Your conferences should not be the first time you connect with your child’s teacher. Read weekly emails and updates to understand the classroom dynamics and learn the expectations and goals of your child’s teacher. Register for whatever online venues your school has, like PowerSchool, Class Dojo, etc., to monitor your child’s progress and be informed of struggles, challenges, and missed work. Being informed of your child’s progress will maximize the invaluable face-to-face experience with your child’s teacher.

  1. Create a list of questions you have that will help you better understand the program and classroom expectations. Grading requirements vary from grade to grade, make sure you take time to clearly understand your child’s teacher's grading system and what gets included in their final grade, participation, effort, critical thinking, etc.

Always remember it’s not only what happens at the conferences but rather how you follow up from the experience that will support your child’s progress and success. Take time to understand the areas of support your child may need as well as the areas of success. Take time to congratulate your child on what they accomplished as you build on the partnership with your child’s teacher and administrators to maximize your child’s learning and growing experience at your child’s school. Always remember they want your child to succeed!

 

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