Last week we had our first parent teacher conference of the year. Since attending a few of these meetings in past couple of years we’ve learned a few things to help make these discussions productive and successful. If your child is just starting in school it’s challenging to know what to expect. To give you a hand, here are a few tips for an easy and stress free parent teacher conference.
Tips for a Successful Parent Teacher Conference
Have an Open Mind
I know that you think your child is perfect, always well behaved and the brightest child in the class, however, this isn’t always the case. It’s very important to come to your parent teacher interviews with an open mind and free of any expectation.
Whenever E and I attend one of these meetings we go without any expectations and listen attentively to the teacher’s comments.
So far no major issues have been raised, but our son’s teacher has alerted us to some issues we didn’t know about. Had we been defensive about the whole thing we never would have figured out how to improve the situation.
Write down any questions or concerns beforehand
If there are issues that are concerning me I’ll be sure to write them down ahead of time so that I don’t forget to mention them during the parent teacher conference. These conferences are few and far between. It can be difficult to reach out to your child’s teacher at other times so come prepared with your questions.
Having questions and comments ready to go can also help ensure that you cover the topics you’d like to discuss.
Be Ready to Take Concrete Steps at Home
Teachers need our help to make things happen. If R’s teacher makes suggestions with respect to actions we can take at home we are sure to take note. Whether these steps relate to behaviour or academics it’s important to take the suggestions into consideration. If you agree with what the teacher is saying, take steps at home to improve the situation. This will reinforce the importance of these matters with your child and will make things easier for your child since all of the messages he or she will be receiving will be consistent.
Go easy on the teacher
Unless your parent teacher interview is the first one scheduled, remember that your child’s teacher has been through a full day of teaching. Be kind to your child’s teacher. After such a long day I’m sure he/she is exhausted, hungry and ready to go to bed.
Give yourself time
If your child’s teacher tells you some things you may not have expected, please don’t react suddenly and harshly. Give yourself some time to digest the comments and consider if you agree. I’ve heard the suggestion that if you’re upset by something, give it 24 hours before sending a response.
If you feel strongly that the teacher is wrong, take a few minutes (or hours) to regroup. Only respond once you’ve calmed down. Getting into a heated argument with your child’s teacher will not make you feel better and it will not help your little one.
What are your tips for having a successful parent teacher conference? Please share them in the comments!
If you like this post I think you’ll find these parenting posts helpful as well:
- Secrets to Stress Free Travel with Kids
- How to Dine out with Your Kids (and not pull out all your hair)
- Helping your Child Make the Transition to Kindergarten
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