Chances are if your child is attending school currently you will soon get a notification from their teacher asking to meet for parent teacher conferences. These meetings tend to happen about 3-4 times a year or so and can be extremely helpful in helping you get to know your child’s teacher, get a pulse on how your child is doing in school and how you can best support them .
Although you may be receiving weekly or monthly communication at home , your child may be sharing what is going on in their day, but this truly a time to really find out first hand what is going on and collaborate on ways to best support your child during their school year.
Preparing for the conference
Before heading to the conference talk with your child. Find out how things are going for them , if they are making friends , what’s happening in the class etc.. By doing this you can find out how your child is feeling and adjusting and plan for anything you should be bringing up to the teacher during the conference.
Plan ahead and write down some things you want to be sure the teacher knows.
Maybe your child gets anxious during certain times, or they have a tough time transitioning from one activity to another but you’ve found a method to help them do this without any tears or pushback . It could be very helpful for the teacher if you share this information. You should also share any other changes that may have occured at home that could be affecting your child. If there is a move , a loss of a family member , a change in routine or anything else that could be affecting your child currently or in the near future.
Have some questions ready for the teacher beyond “So how’s my child doing ?”
While some teachers will automatically share information in all areas , it can be helpful to have specific questions.
- How is he interacting with peers ?
- Is she able to work independently?
- Does he follow directions ?
- Is he mastering the skills being taught?
- What are some of her strengths that you are noticing?
- What are some of her weaknesses ?
- What are you working on right now as a class?
- Is he struggling greatly in any area ?
- Is he excelling in any area?
- Do you have any concerns about him being able to meet the standards ?
- What’s a typical day look like for him?
- What’s one thing I need to be focusing on at home to help her get where she needs to be ?
- What are his goals for this next quarter?
- What is the plan for achieving those goals ?
Specific questions like those help you gain a better understanding of the classroom environment and what your child may be going through on a day to day basis. It also helps you gain an understanding on where to best put your efforts to support your child.
Parent teacher conferences can be extremely beneficial and are a great way to continue to build that school to home connection that will help make a world of difference in your child’s education..