A parent/teacher conference offers a special opportunity for to share information about the child from both perspectives. The best conferences end with both the parents and teacher feeling they have learned something about the child. Parents can make the most of their conference times by considering some of the following suggestions:
Before the Conference:
- Ask your child about his/her feelings about school. What does your child enjoy most about school? What does your child feel is his/her best strength? What would he/she like to do better? Be prepared to share this information with the teacher.
- Is there anything you would like to tell the teacher that would help him/her understand your child better? (special circumstances, developmental history, etc.)
- What special interest does your child have? (dinosaurs, cars, art, sports, cooking, etc.) These details may prove invaluable in helping to create a special connection between teacher and student.
- If a spouse/co-parent is unable to attend, be sure to ask for his/her ideas.
- Arrange for childcare for your children (especially younger siblings) so you can have an uninterrupted parent conference. FYI…Students are not allowed to be on campus after dismissal unless they are enrolled in Roadrunner Club or accompanied by a parent at the Book Fair.
At the Conference:
- Arrive on time.
- The teacher will be prepared to tell you about your child’s school performance. Consider the “whole child” throughout this discussion—keep in mind attitudes towards learning, study habits, mindset, and appropriate social interactions as you discuss your child’s overall development.
- The teacher may discuss changes to the curriculum (and report card) as a result of the transition to Common Core Standards. Review the “Parent Guide for Student Success” for your child’s grade level to provide an overview of what your child will learn in the coming year.
- 4th and 5th grade teachers may discuss your child’s CAASPP test results from the spring. Keep in mind that this is just one measure of your child’s knowledge and aptitude (and the first year we’ve received results for these computer adaptive tests).
- Keep an open mind about ideas and opportunities to support your child. Express a willingness to help and to share in solving any problems (“What can I do at home to help my child?” “How can we work on this together?”)
- Be willing to take what the teacher suggests under advisement and allow yourself time to think before you react (“That sounds interesting; let me think it over and get back to you”).
- Ask questions about any part of the school program that you have questions about (homework, recess, special programs, etc.)
- Due to time constraints, try to keep discussions focused and limited to the most important issues related to your particular child.
- Don’t over-dwell on past angers, hurts, or complaints from previous years. The key question is, “Where do we go from here?”
- Be aware that other parents are waiting for their conference. Leave promptly when your conference time ends.
After the Conference:
- Tell your child something positive that the teacher said about him/her.
- Follow through on any mutually agreed-upon plans to help your child. Clarify teacher, student, and parent responsibilities.
- Keep communicating with the teacher throughout the year by telephone, email and/or notes. Open communication is key!
Our Rheem Team goal is to for teachers, staff, and parents to be partners in the educational success of all children. Let us know how we are doing, how we can help, and how we can better facilitate communication. We promise to do the same.
Together, we can make a difference for every child!