In most districts parent teacher conferences are near. In a previous article, I discussed the importance of conferencing with your child’s teacher. I also discussed how teachers should prepare for parent teacher conferences. It is equally important for parents to prepare for the conference.
As a parent, one should consider what issue needs to be discussed. Make a list of questions that you would like to ask your child’s teacher. Depending on what you plan to talk to the teacher about, you may find it best to leave your child out of the conference. It may also be best to find a sitter for smaller children, especially if your child is having troubles at school. Smaller children can distract the conversation and cause you to lose focus. You may end up leaving before the issue has been resolved.
Try to keep the conversation focused on the child you are there to discuss. Often, parents tend to move the conversation to other children in the family. While it is okay to mention older or younger siblings, remember which child your conference should be focused on.
While it is not necessary to go into any personal details with the teacher, do share any information that could be causing an emotional strain on the child. Troubles at home will often lead to troubles at school. Be open and willing to admit when you are aware of factors that could be causing poor academics or behavior. The problem will be easier to resolve if the teacher is aware of possible causes.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. It has been a while since you were in school. Things have changed. If there is something that you do not understand or have trouble helping your child with, ask the teacher for clarification.
Parent teacher conferences are very important. If it is impossible for you to meet with your child’s teacher on the assigned day, discuss a possible alternative meeting day with the teacher.