At BCD, we believe that Parent- Teacher Conferences are essential to educational achievement. Remember, you and the teacher are a team—working in a partnership together. Here are a few tips to help you be better prepared for parent teacher conferences.
- Plan to discuss the “whole child”. Your child’s social and emotional development is just as important as academic success. Include questions about his/her interaction with other children and willingness to participate in class discussions.
- Prepare questions in advance. What groups has my child been assigned to? Is my child finishing the work assigned in class? Is my child working up to his/her ability? The most important question of all is, How can I help my child at home?
- Let the teacher know in advance if there is a particular topic you want to discuss. If you want to talk about your child’s progress in a certain subject area be sure to inform the teacher so she can have all the data- test scores, work samples and other materials on hand to support your discussion.
- Be specific. Bring any work examples with you that is of concern or a celebration. Describe clearly any situations in the classroom that your child finds challenging or engaging. Dialogue with the teacher about your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Hearing shortcomings is never easy but remember failure is part of the learning process and so try to remain open to feedback. You and the teacher are a team. Positive comments such as “How can we solve this problem working together?” will be the first step in coming up with good solutions.
- Exchange information. Let the teacher know about any situation at home that may affect your child’s school work, such as a death in the family, a new baby, or a change in aftercare arrangements.
- Take notes. Your conference may result in several actions for both you and the teacher. Taking notes will help you remember what was discussed and what was agreed upon.
- Leave with a plan. The conference should end with a clear statement of what you will do and what the teacher will do. Schedule follow-up meetings or telephone calls to be sure the plan is working.
“Parents are the best resource for a child to make the grade,” said former NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “When teachers and parents work together, we can help a child have a successful school year.”
Parents, we thank you for your partnership with us. Happy Conferencing!
Jill Johnson, Head of Elementary