Parent-Teacher conferences are often the first chance parents and teachers have to sit down and discuss goals and objectives for the school year. The following tips from CNN’s Schools of Thought blog will help you establish a working relationship with your child’s teacher.
1. Come Prepared
Parents and teachers should go into the conference prepared. For teachers, this means having a student’s information on hand, as well as any questions they have for the parent. For parents, this means talking to your child prior to the meeting to see what his or her issues are and bringing a list of questions in order to address these issues.
2. Work Together
It may be difficult to bring up issues to teachers, but creating a positive tone up front may make it easier. The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) suggests that parents start off the conversation by complimenting the teacher on things he or she seem to be doing well. Once you discuss the issue, brainstorm ways you and the teacher can solve the issue together to maintain the positive tone.
3. Update Your Teacher
Parents often overlook the impact life outside of school can have on their child’s in-school performance. Be open with your child’s teacher about changes at home so they can adjust and instruct your child appropriately.
4. Make a Plan
After discussing the changes in behavior or performance that need to take place, it is time to plan. The National PTA suggests that parents and teachers work together to establish goals and ways to measure success. Once the action plan is established, it is important to review it with your child. This will help her understand what is expected of her at home and at school.
You and your child’s teacher should agree on the best way to contact each other about your child’s progress. Parents and teachers may use phone calls, emails, or written letters to communicate, and some parents may want to do a follow up conference. Whichever the mode, keep it consistent to establish a working relationship.