Keep these principles in mind for a great parent-teacher conference:
Best intentions assumed
Emphasis on learning
Home school collaboration
Examples and evidence
Respect for all
Dedication to follow-up
Parent–Teacher Conferences: A Tip Sheet for Parents
From Harvard Family Research Project:
As a parent, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. You and your child’s school have something in common: You both want your child to learn and do well. When parents and teachers talk to each other, each person can share important information about your child’s talents and needs. Each person can also learn something new about how to help your child. Parent–teacher conferences are a great way to start talking to your child’s teachers. This tip sheet suggests ways that you can make the most of parent-teacher conferences so that everyone wins, especially your child.
What should you expect?
- A two-way conversation. Like all good conversations, parent–teacher conferences are best when both people talk and listen. The conference is a time for you to learn about your child’s progress in school. But it is also a time for the teacher to learn about what your child is like at home. When you tell the teacher about your child’s skills, interests, needs, and dreams, the teacher can help your child more.
- Emphasis on learning. Good parent–teacher conferences focus on how well the child is doing in school. They also talk about how the child can do even better. To get ready for the conversation, look at your child’s homework, assessments, and notices from the teacher before the conference. Be sure to bring a list of questions that you would like to ask the teacher.
- Opportunities and challenges. Just like you, teachers want your child to succeed. You will probably hear positive feedback about your child’s progress and areas for improvement. Be prepared by thinking about your child’s strengths and challenges beforehand. Be ready to ask questions about ways you and the teacher can help your child with some of his or her challenges and enhance strengths.
- Talk to your child. The parent–teacher conference is all about your child, so don’t forget to include him or her. Share with your child what you learned. Show him or her how you will help with learning at home. Ask your child for suggestions.
See you during the week!