Tips for Parents on Parent-Teacher Conferences
How Should Parents Navigate This All-Important Meeting? Educators Show the Way!
A key ingredient for educational achievement is the parent-teacher conference, and to make sure they're successful for both parents and teachers, we've come up with a list of what educators would like parents to know.
The first on the list: Show up, please!
“We know parents are busy, but it is important to carve out time to invest in your child’s education and ensure success at school,” said National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. “To get the most out of parent-teacher conferences, parents need to take an active role in their child’s education year-round and come prepared to discuss how their child can reach their full potential.”
Here are the rest of our tips for parents:
Get Ready. Do your homework prior to parent-teacher conferences. Prepare by writing notes to yourself concerning:
- Any questions about the school’s programs or policies.
- Things you can share with the teacher about your child and his life at home.
- Questions about your child’s progress.
Ask Important Questions
Don’t be afraid to engage in a frank conversation with your child’s teacher. Your goal is to develop an action plan for your child’s success at school. Good questions to ask the teacher include:
- What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
- How does my child get along with classmates?
- Is my child working up to her ability? Where could she use improvement?
- What can we do at home to support what you are doing in the classroom?
Initiate the Action Plan
Start immediately on the action plan you and the teacher put together. Discuss the plan with your child and track his progress. Stay in touch with your child’s teacher throughout the year with regularly scheduled “report card” conferences that can keep the communication lines open.
“Parents are the best resource for a child to make the grade,” said Van Roekel. “When teachers and parents work together, we can help a child have a successful school year.”