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Try to get there a few minutes early so you can find the classroom and not miss any of your time.

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Tips for Teachers (for Parents) - KidsHealth

Teachers often begin the conference with some general class information. While this can be helpful, it takes up valuable conference time. Taking a few deep breaths can help. Using a respectful tone will also help you and the teacher find solutions together for your child. At the same time, if you disagree with the teacher, be sure to speak up. Remember that you only have a short time. Try to cover your most important questions and concerns first.

Use your list of questions, if you had time to make one. Save a few minutes at the end of the conference for next steps. Could I get weekly feedback for the next month—maybe a quick email on Fridays? What information should we gather before that meeting? Talk to your child about what happened. If there are next steps, make sure your child knows what they are. If you and the teacher agreed on next steps, follow up in the next week or so to see how things are working out.

Many of them learn and think differently, or have kids who do. She also writes about education issues and provides expertise on editorial content. Solution: The joke that parents think their kids are perfect does have some truth. To handle tricky situations when you have to give negative feedback at conferences, an approach suggested by Joe Hirsch , a leadership coach and former curriculum developer, might help. First, name the context—the time and place—where the problem occurs, like during small-group interactions. Next, share specific and objective observations about what happened. To help students take ownership of their learning and keep lines of communication open between school and home, Wildwood IB World Magnet School , a K—8 public school in Chicago, has student-led conferences twice a year.

And in student-led conferences at the middle school at University Park Campus School , a 7—12 public school in Worcester, Massachusetts, students share their strengths and weaknesses, set academic and behavior goals, and ask for support where needed. In 11th grade, the student-led meetings are college and career focused.

At the Conference

In the U. If your child's teacher schedules a meeting with you, it does not necessarily mean that your child is in trouble.

Preparing for and Conducting Parent-Teacher Conferences

Teachers welcome input from the parents about their children, such as information about what the child likes to do or what they are good at. Teachers also understand that each student is different and learns differently, and that no one knows your child better than you do. You may provide some insight that will help the teacher work more effectively with your child at school.

It is also helpful for teachers to know if a child is experiencing a difficult situation outside of school, such as a divorce, the death of a relative, a medical problem, or anything else that may affect the child's mood or behavior.


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Knowing of such changes will help the teacher provide the child with the necessary support in the classroom. What information will my child's teacher give me? Your child's teacher will probably show you some samples of your child's work, and may discuss your child's progress, grades, homework, and behavior. The teacher may also ask you about any concerns that she has about your child, as well as questions about his study habits. These questions are intended to help the teacher provide your child with any additional support needed in the classroom, and are not intended to make you feel uncomfortable or defensive.

Why is it important to go to a parent-teacher conference? Going to the parent-teacher conference provides you and the teacher an opportunity to work together as a team in order to help your child. You each have an important perspective to share — as the parent, you know your child's personality, habits, strengths, and weaknesses. The teacher, on the other hand, has been trained professionally in the best methods of teaching, meeting individual student's needs, how to control classroom behavior, and how to help your child succeed in school.

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Working together you will be able to find ways that each of you can provide the appropriate and necessary support for your child. The conference is also an opportunity for you to ask questions about your child's progress, to learn more about the class and what the students are studying, and to find out if you child is having difficulty with anything in particular.

In addition, the more you know about your children's school and classes, the more likely they will be to talk about daily experiences with you. They will appreciate your concern and involvement, and they will be more likely to approach you when they have problems. The conference with your child's teacher will be more efficient and productive if you do some preparation beforehand.

To prepare for the conference:. Make sure that your child understands that you and the teacher are meeting to help him, so that he doesn't worry about the conference.

Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences at Your Child's School

Prepare a list of notes Make a list of topics that you want to discuss with the teacher and that you think the teacher should know, such as your concerns about the school, the child's home life, any major changes in your family, habits, hobbies, part-time jobs, religious holidays, or anything that is worrying your child.

Be sure to ask for input from your spouse or other adults that are caring for your child as well. Prepare a list of questions Preparing a list of questions will help you have a productive conversation with your child's teacher. Prioritize the questions in case you run out of time during the conference. The following questions are examples that will help you learn more about your child's progress in school:. If your child receives special services gifted programs, special education, English classes, speech or occupational therapy, or support for a learning disability , ask about the frequency of these services and about your child's progress with them.

Be on time Get off to the right start: come to the conference on time.

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Remember that other parents may also have conferences scheduled for that day; if you arrive late, you have may missed your conference altogether. You should also plan on ending the conference at the scheduled time so that other parents can start their conference on time. Be yourself Relax and be yourself.


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Remember that you and the teacher both the want the same thing: the very best for your child. Stay calm Stay calm during the conference.

15 Tips for Leading Productive Parent-Teacher Conferences

Respectful communication will be the most effective way to work together with your child's teacher. Getting angry or upset during the conference will make it very difficult to have a positive conversation. Ask for explanations of anything you don't understand Listen carefully to what the teacher says.