Parent-Teacher Conferences 101

The Stir Bloggers
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photo by momof3angela

They will be upon us soon enough. Parent-teacher conferences. There's no question that showing up to talk with your child's teacher a few times a year is beneficial to both you and your child, but sometimes even when you do, you leave feeling like...that's it? Well, the key to having a successful parent-teacher conference is preparation, preparation, preparation.

You'd be infuriated if you went up to the school to talk to a teacher who had no idea what was going on with your kid--well, make sure you hold yourself to the same standard when it comes to how your child is feeling about/performing in class. A great article on parent-teacher conferences at About.com gives some pointers I thought were worth sharing.

  • Listen to your child. What does she say about school? Is she happy, or frustrated? Be prepared to tell the teacher the messages you are receiving at home.
  • Watch your child. Where does she find ease in her homework? Where does she struggle? Does she resist doing homework?
  • Does your child bring her homework home? Does she have the required books and materials to complete the task?
  • Does your child return her completed homework or does she leave it at home or in her backpack?
  • Does your child bring home notes apprising you of upcoming school events?
  • Do you have concerns about your child’s ability to complete assignments either because she cannot focus or because the work seems too difficult?
  • Are you concerned about your child’s social skills? Does she talk about friends or does she feel isolated?

Remeber that listening to the teacher--and not being defensive--is paramount to an honest discussion about your child.  But asking questions is your right. Based on your observations of your child, jot down a few key questions. Once you've heard what the teacher has to say, fire away!

Are parent-teacher conferences usually helpful to you and your child's progress?

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