Parent-teacher conferences are always nerve-wracking. You never really know what the teacher is going to say about your kid. And, you never know how the conversation is going to go, so you’re never prepared with your questions. Or you have your questions with you but end up not asking them all because of how the conversation turns out.
But, these interactions with your child’s teachers are crucial to better understanding how you can fulfil your role as a parent in your child’s academics. In fact, a balance between education at home and school is what helps with your child’s actual learning process. This is one of the many reasons schools organise parent-teacher meetings (PTM).
These are great opportunities for you to understand your child’s performance and challenges and also help the teacher work towards your child’s betterment at school. After all, it is not every day that you can get feedback about how your child is learning and about their other development milestones in class. So, it is very important to make the most out of them.
But how do you approach such parent-teacher conferences? What should you ask the teacher and what subjects should you cover? In this article, we are going to give you some tips on how you can survive these parent-teacher conferences. You’re going to make the most out of that meeting. Just keep on reading.
Pre-Parent-Teacher Conference Tips
Once you get news of when your child’s parent-teacher conference is, you ought to get started on prepping for the day, so that all of your questions and concerns about your child will be answered.
You never really get any in-depth feedback about your child’s performance for the most part of the school year. The only indication that you have that they are doing well is the graded paperwork they bring home. But, all of their seat works, activity sheets, and assignments can only tell you so much. So compiling them and organising them in a folder should surely help.
Bring this folder to the conference, so you can ask more in-depth questions about how your child does for each exercise.
With any kind of meeting, you should always strive to be minutes early. It’s better to be early than to try to arrive on time and never know how to deal with unexpected instances. Plus, you only have a few minutes with your child’s teacher, so you want to make sure you make full use of your time with them.
Go in with a positive attitude
You don’t want to be one of those parents that teachers complain about to other teachers – the ones who start off on the wrong foot. You want to develop a positive relationship with your child’s teacher. And, truthfully, if you see that your child is having trouble at school, the teacher is more your partner than your enemy.
So, when you approach them on parent-teacher conference day, see them as that. Try to keep in mind that their goal is to make sure your child succeeds in school as well.
Again, the teacher is your partner, so whatever they need in order to cater to the learning needs of your child, you ought to provide them. And, for that to happen, you have to be open with them.
So, for instance, your child struggles to hear. When you tell their teacher that, they will be more than happy to accommodate and situate your child at the front where they can hear better.
Or, you can be open about your situation. Say you’re a single mom, and your child is not yet aware that other family structures are not like yours. If you decide to be open about such detail, the teacher will most likely factor that into their lessons and show that families come in many structures.
As mentioned earlier, your child’s education does not happen only in school. Learning starts at home, as the famous line goes. So, when you talk to the teacher who is the expert in teaching, you ought to discuss the ways in which you can help your child in their challenging subjects.
If your child, for instance, struggles in math, ask the teacher what you can do at home to make math less intimidating. And, this exchange is not one-way. If you need your child’s teacher to help you with teaching your child something, you can. For instance, you want them to develop their social skills. Teachers can incorporate ways to develop such skills in their lessons.
Now, when we say ask questions, we don’t mean ask about every single thing about your child. The teacher has other students to look after, chances are they might not know your child as deeply as you want them to.
But, don’t shy away from questions too. The key here is to ask the right questions. Now, there is a lot you can ask. To make this easier for you, we’ve listed 15 questions you can ask during the parent-teacher conference.
15 Questions to Ask At the Parent-Teacher Meeting
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1. How is my child’s behaviour at school? Is he/she talkative or quiet?
2. Does my child take part in class activities?
3. Does he/she look happy in class?
4. Kindly share details about the school bullying policy. How serious is the school about it?
5. How well does he/she interact with their class peers?
6. Is my child coping well with the school curriculum?
7. What is it that we as parents need to do at home to look after their academics?
8. How often do you schedule tests?
9. My child refuses to complete his or her homework. What is the school’s approach to homework?
Questions if your kid is underperforming
10. How can I keep my child motivated to study despite his/her falling grades?
11. At class, can special attention be given to my child if he/she has some doubts/queries?
12. Are there any challenges that you face while teaching my child?
13. How can we both work together to help him/her excel academically?
14. His/her grades may be poor, but how are they in extra-curriculum activities?
15. In comparison with his peers, where is he/she lagging and how much more effort will I need to put in as a parent?
Post-Parent-Teacher Conference To-Dos
After the conference, discuss the teacher’s feedback with your child. Don’t be harsh on them or burden them with comparisons. Instead, understand that no two kids are alike. It’s important to not judge and be supportive, especially in this scenario where your child is perhaps already quite intimidated.
Help them identify their strengths and motivate them to work on their areas for improvement. This approach will help them with their overall academic performance.
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Understand that your child’s academic performance is not the sole responsibility of their teacher. You also have an important role to play. So, in any way that you can help in bridging the gap, we hope that you do so.
And, that wraps up all of our tips on how to be pros at parent-teacher conferences. Remember to see your child’s teachers as your partners in developing your child holistically. So, if you see your child struggling, do not put the blame on the teacher. Instead, focus on the solution.
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