A seasoned teacher and mother provides a preparation checklist for parent-teacher conferences.
It’s almost that time of year again — parent-teacher conferences. While teachers busy themselves preparing to talk to you, you should be preparing as well.
You are probably thinking that you have a million questions about your child, their days at school, their friendships and so on. So, how do you whittle down your list? How do you make the most of the 15 to 20 minutes you have with your child’s teacher? How do you share all the important things you want your child’s teacher to know in such a short time?
It isn’t always simple, but here are some guidelines to help you prepare.
Before the Parent-Teacher Conference
Review your child’s work.
Talk about what they did and how they came up with their ideas and answers.
Talk to your child!
According to a PTA director in New York, “You want to find out about the positive and the negative.” Ask your child what’s going on during school? Ask then what they like best about school. What is hard? What is easy? Ask about friendships. Ask if there was anything that they could change about school, what would it be?
Consult your child.
As your child if they have any questions they would like YOU to ask the teacher.
Write down your questions.
so you don’t forget anything. Start with the most important questions incase you run short on time.
During the Conference
Don’t focus too much on test scores.
Parents often want to focus on test scores and, while they can be important, they are not the most important. “We have to bring up kids who aren’t just smart. Think about the human being you are raising. It’s the whole child that needs to be addressed.” says Doris Ekhert, former school teacher from New York. http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/parent-teacher-partnerships/make-most-your-teacher-conference
Listen to what the teacher is sharing.
She spends a great deal of time with your child and may have some insights that will help you understand more about how your child learns.
Share what you think is important about your child.
You are the expert on your child and can often provide some valuable insights for the teacher as well. If your family is going through any changes (divorce, new baby, remarriage) be sure to let the teacher know. These changes can impact your child’s school life.
Ask about the social scene.
Who are your child’s friends? Is anyone bothering your child or making their experience uncomfortable or unsafe? Is the teacher worried about your child’s ability to get along with others? (http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-prepare-for-parent-teacher-conferences-grades-1-to-3_67966.bc)
Your child’s teacher may point out some areas where your child struggles or needs extra support. Try to hear what the teacher is saying and find out how you can help.
Make a plan.
Be sure when you leave, you and the teacher are on the same page. If there are things you need to do at home to support your child or if there are things the teacher said will be done at school, be sure they are in writing. A follow-up email works well.
Schedule a follow-up meeting.
Plan to check in and make sure the plan you created is working or if it needs to be adjusted.
Be a team player.
Remember the teacher is on your side and is there to support your child’s growth and development. The more you work together, the better the experience with be for both you and your child.
Say “thank you.”
Teachers work extremely hard to make school a wonderful, enriching, stimulating place for children to spend their days. A simple “thank you for all you do” means a great deal.
Oh, and a hot cup of coffee or some chocolate doesn’t hurt either. Here is a handy Parent-Teacher Conference checklist that you can print and take with you.
About the Blogger
Stephanie is an Educents Blogger, mother of two boys, a seasoned teacher, and the creator of Boy Mama Teacher Mama. Stephanie shares activities that can be used in the home or in the classroom with a special emphasis on issues related to raising boys. When not teaching, creating, crafting or blogging, she enjoys spending time with her boys, quilting and baking. You can follow Boy Mama Teacher Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, and BlogLovin.