Parent-teacher conferences are a wonderful opportunity to extend lines of communication between home and school, keep parents informed about their children's progress—both academic and social—and for developing cooperative strategies that can ultimately benefit every student.
As parents, you can do the following prior to the conference:
- Schedule a date and time;
- Prepare and bring list of questions;
During the conference:
- Stick to talking about your child. Most parent/teacher conferences last only 20 minutes. Don't use this time to ask questions about basic school policies.
- Establish a rapport with the teacher. The first parent/teacher conference is a chance to get to know the teacher. If you're both on the same page from the start, your child will get more out of his year in this teacher's classroom.
- Try not to get defensive. It's natural to feel a bit nervous about parent/teacher conferences. Every parent wants to hear how wonderful his or her child is — and the teacher should tell you about your child's special skills and achievements.
- Take a notepad and pen. After the meeting is over you may forget some of what you discussed.
- Size up the social scene. How well your child fits in socially can have an affect on how well he learns.
- Give the teacher relevant information. Let the teacher know of any changes at home.
- Leave with an action plan. Before you shake hands and say goodbye, find out the best way to follow-up with the teacher. Can you call her?
The aim of parent-teacher conference: building positive relationships with parents to increase their involvement and improve communication.