School and parent teacher conferences are on the horizon. A parent teacher conference is a time when you get to communicate with your child’s teacher one-on-one. You don’t want it to be a waste of time, nor do you want to make a bad impression. Going into the meeting prepared can go a long way toward forging a pleasant and positive relationship.
Here are some ideas as to what to ask during the conference.
1. “What areas does my child needs to work on?”
This helps identify weak areas where you can partner with the teacher in helping your child succeed. It’s also not accusatory – you’re not blaming or excusing anyone for your child’s performance. Listen to the teacher’s answer, and this can open the door to discussions about other aspects of your child’s school experience.
2. “How do you measure progress?”
Find out how progress is measured and what that means for your child. You may find out that your child is not working to the best of his/her ability, or that you’ve misunderstood how progress is charted.
3. “Where can I get help for these challenges?”
If your child is facing academic or social challenges, ask where to find help. Your child’s teacher will likely know about tutoring programs and other opportunities that might fit your child’s needs. It’s okay to admit if you can’t do it all, and it’s not good manners to blame the teacher.
4. “What will my child be learning this year?”
Usually, parent teacher conferences are held at the beginning of the school year. Finding out what’s on the curriculum can help you be a partner and advocate for your child’s education experience. In addition, if you know what your child is expected to learn this year, you can have a good idea as to whether or not he/she is progressing.
5. “What can we do at home?”
Ask what you can do specifically to help your child’s academic performance. There may be expectations for parents, too, and it’s good to find out what they are.
6. “How can I help?”
All kinds of research points to the importance of parental involvement in their children’s schools. Find out what you can do and where you are needed. Teachers appreciate the help, and you can be confident that you’re boosting your child’s school experience by giving your time.
Above all, approach the conference politely and in a friendly way. This is your chance to learn what your child’s teacher is like and forge that important relationship.
What questions do you come prepare with to your parent teacher conferences?