Parent conferences are coming up for many students and parents often think about how to get the most out of those precious minutes when they are one on one with their child’s teacher. Below we’ve compiled some tips to help you.
First, when greeting the teacher, it’s nice if you also thank or acknowledge them for their work with your child. Teachers, and people in general don’t get validate often enough for the positive things they do. Something simple, such as, thank you for spending this time with me or I really appreciate all the work you do with John. This also allows the teacher to observe and understand what approach or feelings you are coming into the conference with.
Secondly, always take notes. I cannot tell you the number of times that parents felt confident in recalling data, only to not have specific enough data to relay to me regarding their child’s progress. Taking notes also shows the teacher that you are dedicated to reflecting on and following through on the points discussed in the conference.
Typically, in a conference, the teacher will be the one to do a majority of the talking. Let that happen. Often parents will initiate the conversation with bringing up a concern before the teacher has the opportunity to share their view on it, or offer information on how it’s being addressed and what you can do at home to further support your child.
Additionally, it is always wise to ask a teacher what you can do to further support your child in any areas at home where improvement is needed. Also, ask when you can check in with the teacher again, either by conference or email to see how your child’s progressing and if the extra support at home is effective enough. Sometimes more strategies or support end up being necessary.
Feel free to email us if you need any other support. We are happy to discuss with you things you want to bring up to the teacher and how to do so, or even attend the conference with you.
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