Get the most out of parent-teacher conferences

Today we welcome Windy Lopez-Aflitto from Learning Heroes back to to the blog! Below, Windy shares strategies that parents can use to get the most out of parent-teacher conferences.

It’s hard to believe that the school year is already under way and that it’s time for our first parent-teacher conferences! As parents, this often means rushing after a long day of work, making other evening home arrangements, followed by the pressure of asking the right questions and sharing helpful information about your child. 

Parent-teacher conferences can also be demanding for teachers, who are charged with getting to know all of their students’ parents, while also sharing important information about each student’s progress, as well as covering the basics about the year ahead. 

Despite the pressures that come along with these meetings, it’s an important opportunity to establish a relationship with your child’s teacher. The aim of a parent-teacher conference should be for both the parent and teacher to learn about the child. 

So, how can you get the most out of those 7-10 minutes? Think about what you want to know and what you want the teacher to know about your child. Here are a few questions and ideas to help get you started: 

  • What is my child expected to learn this year?

    Finding out your child’s specific learning goals for the year is critical so that you know what to reinforce at home and what to get help with.

  • What is my child doing well in and what is my child struggling with?

    Make sure to dig deeper and find out about your child’s strengths and weaknesses in class, so that you can provide additional support where needed.

  • What can I do at home to support learning?

    Share concerns or questions about homework and ask about other school or community resources that you can take advantage of. Talk about ways you might be able to integrate learning into your everyday busy schedule.

  • How does my child act in class?

    Find out whether or not your child is happy and engaged in class and with his or her peers. Being aware of and supporting your child’s social and emotional development is a central part of ensuring success in school and beyond.

  • Tell your child’s teacher about your child.

    By sharing your child’s interests, learning habits and personality, you provide important insight that will help the teacher better connect with your child in the classroom.

Finally, don’t forget to ask the teacher about the best way to stay in touch throughout the year whether it be through email, notes or phone calls. By staying connected with your child’s teacher, you’ll know what to expect and how to support your child’s academic and social-emotional success. Think of it as true partnership—you need your child’s teacher and your child’s teacher needs you!

For more resources and tips on preparing for parent-teacher conferences and a successful partnership with the teacher, check out this helpful Readiness Roadmap from bealearninghero.org

Photo via Ryan Stanton