How to Prepare for a Parent Teacher Conference
A parent teacher conference is a meeting between you (the parent) and your child’s teacher or teachers to discuss your child’s academic progress and behavior.
At the meeting, you’ll work with your child’s teacher(s) to find solutions to any academic or behavioral issues.
These meetings provide a rare opportunity to talk with your child’s teachers face to face, understand exactly what’s happening at school, and advocate for your child. It’s important to be prepared, and there are several steps you can take to ensure the conference is productive.
Before the conference, gather information about your child’s performance and behavior. You don’t want to be blindsided by new information on the spot.
Check your child’s grades, and ask your child if there’s anything in particular he thinks will be discussed at the meeting. Is there anything in particular he wants you to discuss?
By doing your research and talking to your child, you’ll ensure that you know what to expect at the conference.
Make a List
Write a list of questions or topics you’d like to discuss at the meeting. You can ask for input from your spouse or other people that care for your child as well. In the moment, it’s easy to forget what you want to talk about, so it’s a good idea to bring a list with you.
Is there anything worrying your child or any recent changes in his home life that you think the teachers should know about?
Is there anything in particular you want to know about your child’s strengths and weaknesses, performance, behavior, social skills, or upcoming tests and assignments? You can also your child’s teachers what you can do at home to better support your child academically.
If you have ideas about how your child’s teachers can help him learn and behave better in the classroom, write these down as well. It’s a great idea to collaborate with your child’s teachers to develop an action plan that will benefit your child.
Prioritize your questions and talking points. Mention the most important items at the beginning of the meeting, as it’s possible that you may run out of time.
Set Aside Differences
You may carry negative emotions toward some of your child’s teachers. Perhaps you feel they’ve treated your child unfairly, haven’t been as communicative with you as you’d like, etc.
If that’s the case, it’s appropriate to bring up these concerns at the meeting. However, make sure you do it respectfully. You want to build relationships with your child’s teachers, not destroy them. Ultimately, you are a team who must work together for the good of your child. If you plan to address a disagreement or issue, it’s also a good idea to come prepared with solutions and suggestions as well.
Remember that you want to have a positive conversation in order to further your child’s academic success.
In order to have a successful and productive parent teacher conference, it’s important to be prepared. Get informed about your child’s grades, attendance, and behavior. Write a list of questions and talking points that you would like to address.
Once at the meeting, keep it positive. Work to build relationships with your child’s teachers and develop an action plan for the good of your child.
If you end up running out of time, you can always schedule another meeting or follow up with an email or phone call. By following these tips, you’ll help your child be a more supported and successful student!