Thursday, November 5, 2009

Making the Most of Your Parent-Teacher Conference

Having just completed a parent-teacher conference, these tips are fresh in mind to help make the most of your conference time.
  • First off - go. I've heard some parents claim they do not need to have a parent-teacher conference because their child is doing so well in school. It may be true that you won't have a lot to talk about then, but not going at all sends the wrong message to the kids (and their teachers). Schooling your children is a joint effort between teacher and parents, so at the least, the parent needs to show up.
  • Talk to your kids first. Find out if they are experiencing any problems at school, whether it be in the classroom or outside, or if they have any questions or concerns.
  • Make a list. Write down questions you want to ask the teacher as you think of them and prior to the conference, then take the list with you. The teacher has set aside this time to talk to you specifically, so make sure you get all your questions answered.
  • Be on time. I can't tell you how many times I've had to wait for my conference because the teacher was behind schedule. This is usually due to someone being late for a conference earlier in the day, setting the whole schedule behind.
  • Make an action plan if necessary. Make sure you leave the conference with a clear understanding of any action you need to take at home to reinforce your child's learning at school.
Like most of us, teachers are busier than ever. Planning in advance will help maximize your time, as well as the teacher's, helping to ensure the best education for your child.

What are some of the things you do to prepare for a parent-teacher conference?