Tips for Success – Parent/Teacher Conferences

Does the thought of a parent-teacher conference give you some anxiety? It doesn’t have to! Parent-teacher conferences are an important tool in your child’s education. A successful parent-teacher conference can provide benefits throughout the school year for both you and your student.

  • Helps you build a relationship with your child’s teachers allowing for better communication with them throughout the school year.
  • Gives you an opportunity to ask questions privately that are specific to your child.
  • It is a chance to provide more information about your child so that their teacher can understand them better.
  • Will help you better visualize the classroom and activities your child experiences during their school day.
  • Demonstrates to your child that their education is important to both you and their teacher.

Just a few hints to make your conference more successful:

  • If possible, both parents should attend the conference.  With both parents present, you can get a more balanced picture of the child and his or her school situation.
  • Be aware that nervousness or anxiety may surface because you are meeting with someone you don’t know who teaches your child every day and is “in charge.”  Realize that these feelings are normal.  For some people, the educational setting and jargon is intimidating.  If your own school days were painful, old memories may rise and cause you to become defensive.  Be patient with yourself and know that some anxiety is normal.  The better you get to know the teacher, the less awkward the conferences will be.
  • Most teachers work very hard and need encouragement.  Express thanks for the teacher’s efforts in working with your child, for some interesting project the class has done, or for some class activity your child particularly enjoyed. This will mean that you need to talk with your child before the conference.
  • Bring a list of questions you may have or subjects you would like to discuss.  See a sample list below.
  • Remember that a conference is a time for both parent and teacher to talk and listen.  Be tactful but honest.  Let the teacher know any health or handicaps, any recent crisis or change at home that may affect your child’s learning.
  • If there is a problem you know about, don’t wait until it becomes severe before you call the teacher to schedule a conference.  If you are concerned about something, write a note or call and request a Parent-Teacher conference. 

A few questions you may want to include when speaking with your child’s teacher.

Remember…Parent/Teacher conferences are meant to be a valuable tool in your child’s education!

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