It is that time of year again, parent-teacher conferences, a time that many parents and teachers alike dread for a variety of reasons. However, parent-teacher conferences do not have to be dreaded, in fact, they can be very helpful and productive. Parent-Teacher Conference Strategies for Parents will help remove the fear and anxiety of meeting with your child’s teacher. Your child’s learning and growth are in the hands of their teachers and as a parent, we should be invested in our children’s education and success to ensure they are set up for a bright and promising future.
Let’s look at some practical, easy, and stress-free ways to make the most out of parent-teacher conferences.
BEFORE MEETING WITH YOU CHILD’S TEACHER
The first of the Parent-Teacher Conference Strategies for Parents is prep. Prepping before a big meeting is not something we would question for our job, but often the prep stage is forgotten or never even considered when it comes to meetings with your child’s teacher. Coming prepared for the meeting is essential for success.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare before the meeting:
- Communicate concerns or topics you’d like to discuss with the teacher prior to the conference.
- Prepare any materials or documents such as scores, work, or comments from previous teachers, tutors, health providers, etc.
- If your child works with a tutor, ask for tips and helpful advice for working with your child. Ask what concepts or types of assignments were enjoyable or challenging for your child.
- Prepare questions-get your free question guide here
- Be familiar with how the teacher and school communicate with parents, assign homework, and give feedback.
- Be ready to collaborate for your child’s best interest. Assume the teacher and the school have the best interest of your child at heart especially when concerns may be brought up.
Parent-Teacher Conference Strategies FREE RESOURCE
DURING THE MEETING WITH YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER
Parents should be actively involved during the parent-teacher conference as well as before and after. Openly discussing your child’s needs, struggles, and successes are essential to helping your child improve in their school life.
During the conference the parent should:
- Actively listen and take notes
- Offer your perspective on topics discussed and add in any observations you have from home that are relevant.
- Ask all questions you may have regarding homework, schoolwork, behavior, testing, etc. that may help give you clarity.
- If your child works with a tutor, ask the teacher what your child can get extra help with or future tests or projects they can work on.
- Follow up on any concerns from the teacher by asking for the positives of your child and any action steps that can be taken for solutions.
AFTER THE MEETING WITH YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER
This is where most people think that the parent-teacher conference is over, and they go back to their normal daily routines. However, there are a few things that should be done after the meeting.
- Be sure to thank the teacher for their time and send a note or email to them to summarize any future steps or plans you have based on the meeting.
- Research any topic that the teacher may have brought up, especially if there are special educational needs being brought up.
- Communicate frequently with the teacher to ensure things are going well and your child is on track for success.
- Keep the lines of communication open between yourself and the teacher.
- Ask if your child could benefit from tutoring sessions. (Check out our post on the benefits of tutoring in Elementary students.)