Dos & Don'ts of Parent-Teacher Conferences

parent teacher conferenceIf your toddler attends a particularly "with it" pre-school, at some point you're going to find yourself sitting in a tiny chair and listening to the teacher tell you about your child. This is thrilling . . . and terrifying.

On the one hand, how can anyone say something bad about a toddler? As parents we loooove hearing about how amazing our kids are, especially from other people. This is a great opportunity to beam proudly as your child's teacher admits that your little girl is as special as you think she is. On the other hand -- you know what your little one is capable of, and doubt he exercises any restraint just because you're spending too much on pre-school tuition. 

As someone who's heard the good, the bad, and the disgusting: here's some tips to get you through your first parent/teacher meeting without presenting the teachers with a clear illustration of how your child got that way. 


Do come prepared with questions about your child's in-class activities.

Don't come with a list of accomplishments you'd like to see before your child turns four.

Do arrive on time.

Don't keep chatting into the next parent's time slot because you're sure the teacher needs to know every cute saying your toddler has ever uttered.

Do consider this a practice run before you start having to really bear down on your child's academics.

Don't sue because the pre-school has ruined your child for Harvard.

Do express your appreciation for the positive aspects of the school and/or teacher.

Don't start the meeting with, "Here's how I would do it . . ."

Do ask how you all can work together to help your child.

Don't answer every suggestion from the teacher with, "Wait, isn't that what we pay you for?"

How do you behave at your pre-school parent/teacher conferences?


Image via KevinDooley/Flickr

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