Next Friday (Nov. 1) marks the beginning of a week during which every family has the opportunity to meet with their child’s teacher for an individual conference. If you have not already scheduled your conference, be sure to contact your child’s teacher immediately; if you have a conference scheduled please be sure to be on time and come prepared to use the time allotted to your best advantage. For some of you, this will be the first time you have met your child’s teacher; for others, this will be the continuation of a dialogue that began many weeks ago. Some of you have the advantage of spending time at school each week and seeing the classroom in action, while for others this will be one of a very limited number of opportunities you have to see your child’s work and ask questions of your child’s teacher. No matter which category you fall into, there are some things that you can do to prepare for a productive parent/teacher conference.
Before you come to school for your conference, ask your child some specific questions about school. What would she like you to ask her teacher? What does she like best about school? Are there any subjects that he is having trouble with? Are there any problems that he can’t resolve on his own? Write down your child’s questions as well as your own to make sure not to forget anything important.
The first parent/teacher conference is a time to establish rapport with the teacher. If you can make a connection early in the year it will be easier to talk to the teacher in the future about any questions or concerns. To get off on the right foot, first listen to what the teacher has to say. Don’t forget to discuss how your child is doing socially as well as academically. Be sure to also let the teacher know of any important information from home – a new baby or a death in the family may have an impact on your child’s behavior or academic focus in the classroom.
Before your conference concludes, be sure to find out the best way to communicate with your child’s teacher. Can you call her? How quickly can you expect a response from an email? As you end the conference, review any decisions you have made together, and if necessary discuss how you will follow-up as the year goes on.
Please remember that there is no school next Friday, and beginning the following Monday, every day for a week is a minimum day. Please be on time to pick up your child/ren.