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Pointers for Parent/Teacher Conferences

Pointers for Parent/Teacher Conferences

Hopefully you and your family have settled into the new school-year routine! Before you know it, parent/teacher conference time will be here. Here are a few tips to prepare you for that day.

Here’s the deal.  You have 15-20 minutes to speak about or hear everything you need to know about how your student is progressing.  Perhaps you’d like to ponder a few pointers to maximize the use of those precious moments.

  • Be positive and prayed up.
  • Be prepared.  Think of questions or concerns that need to be shared with the teacher.  Jot them down ahead of time.
  • Be alone (with your spouse of course, if possible).  Arrange for childcare or have a game plan that allows for focused one-on-one time with the teacher. The student really should not be present during this time. Siblings either.
  • Be on time. The teacher usually has appointments scheduled back to back.
  • Be ready to get down to business. The time will fly.
  • Be a good listener. Generally, the teacher has a report card or some type of written evaluation to share with you. Hear his/her observations and thoughts.
  • Be open-minded. It’s okay for your child to need to improve in some areas. That’s what school is all about—learning, growing, developing, getting better.
  • Be sure that your teacher is well-informed (prior to conference time and preferably at the beginning of the school year) of any special testing that has been done or services that have been given to meet any area of need for your child.
  • Be open to suggestions the teacher might make for future testing, services, or help needed.  He/she is concerned for your child’s best interests.
  • Be aware that the teacher probably has another conference appointment right after yours. If you feel that you need more time, ask for the opportunity to meet again on another occasion.
  • Be appreciative. As unnerving as this might be for you, imagine being in the teacher’s shoes. He/she works hard to provide a fabulous learning experience for your child and care for each student deeply.

Whew! When it’s over, breathe. Relax. Then begin thinking about how you will share the information with your student. Be positive in your presentation. Encourage your student to strive for his/her best in behavior, academics, and to enjoy the time with teachers and peers.

By: Kristi Butler enjoyed twenty wonderful years in the elementary classroom. She’s been promoted to full-time grandmommy and is the author of several books for children.

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