18 Nov Guide to Prepare for Parent Teacher Conferences
ALOHA Mind Math offers educational tips for parents to communicate with teachers during and after the Parent Teacher Conference.
Before going into the parent teacher conference ALOHA Mind Math suggests there are several things a parent can do ahead of time to prepare themselves and their child. Keep in mind that an older child is usually more stressed than a younger child. It is the added pressure they feel on themselves and the unknown of what the meeting will uncover. To relieve the added stress, agree with the child that whatever the issues, together you will both enter the meeting with an attitude to assist the teacher to make things better and focus on improving.
Remember that this is a stressful day for the teacher too. She is meeting parents every few minutes to review their child’s school performance. This is not the environment or the time to get into deep conversations or dive into the challenges at hand. Set a separate appointment to review what was discussed. The purpose of a parent teacher conference is to obtain a snapshot of the child’s learning.
The first thing a parent can do is basic – attend all of the meetings with the teachers.
Being an informed parent can ease everyone going into the meeting.
Is the child arriving to school regularly? Or is he too early, or too late? If the school has not informed the parent of these mishaps then you can briefly directly address those then.
Classroom Participation and Behavior
If there have been issues in the classroom, teachers normally inform parents of excessive behavior in advance of the mid-year report. The teacher will review the child’s behavior and participation in class. Is the student cooperative, follows directions, and interacts with classmates well? Do they have a great attitude? Do they help other students in areas they excel? If needed, schedule a conversation of life disruptions or stresses that have affected the family and the child and their learning.
Parents can also ask their child about their learning. Surprisingly they can uncover quite a bit of information from a casual conversation about school in general, or what they like the most, what their biggest challenges are and why. This can be useful during the conference. The teacher will discuss whether the child is paying attention in class. Is his learning on average or above his peers?
Standardized Tests Performance
How does the child perform on these tests? What does the teacher see as their strengths, as well as areas that need more attention? Does the teacher see any patterns, or new learning or memory issues that signal future challenges or strengths? How can these be addressed at school and at home?
Improvements in Learning
Every parent wants their child to do well in school. Ask the teacher “Is my child working up to his ability? What can my child do to improve in those areas at school and at home? How can I assist? How can my child advance his skills and enhance learning both at school and home?”
After the Parent Teacher Conference
Now that the conference is over ALOHA Mind Math suggests the following steps to keep lines of communication open with the school.
- Set an appointment to review your concerns or life challenges that could affect his learning.
- Create a regular daily or weekly routine for about 5 to 10 minutes to examine the school website, social media page, or other means the school communicates with parents.
- Review the homework and projects schedule. This will keep the family updated to avoid procrastination of projects due the next day.
- Communicate regularly with the teacher and stay in touch regarding the child’s progress. This keeps you more involved with what is going on with the child at school.
Everyone is more connected and updated on school activities, assignments, projects, in-service days, holidays, etc. Another advantage is that all parties are being kept updated on his learning, behavior, strengths, and challenges. Being an informed parent and prepared daily makes for a better relationship with the child and school; this in turn correlates to better attitude, behavior, and education performance.