As first vice-president of the parent-teacher association (PTA) of my kids’ elementary school, I am in charge of Parent Education. This means I need to find topics that interest the parents of my community and bring them information through speakers, reading material or internet sites.
Every time I do something for the parents in my community, I will do a corresponding post here.
I did a survey in September and one of the topics that piqued parents’ interest was how to have effective parent-teachers conferences. The flyer we passed out was written by one of our teachers who is on the Texas PTA and gave a speech at the Texas PTA Leadership convention on this topic.
Though this may be too late for anyone’s fall conferences, this information can be used in the Spring or even next year.
- Like all good conversations, conferences are best when both people talk and listen.
- Ask to see data about your child’s attendance, grades, behavior, social interactions, and test scores.
- It is important for you to find out if your child is meeting school expectations and academic standards.
- This is also a good time for your child’s teacher to learn about what your family home life is like. Does your child have hobbies, chores or other responsibilities?
- When you tell your teacher about your child’s skills, interests, needs and dreams, the teacher can help your child achieve more.
Now on our flyer we included a section about the electronic grade book that our school district provides so that parents always know their students’ grades. If your school offers something like this, I urge you to sit down with your child and review their scores. Attending a parent-teacher conference should NOT be the first time you know about your child’s grades.
- You may not always agree with what the teacher recommends. Just because it is recommended does not mean that it has to be done. Be open to ideas and work together.
- Teachers may see or know a side of your child that you do not always know from home and vice versa.
- Let this be an open dialogue and a chance to talk.
- These meetings should be a time to discuss what has been working well and what can be done to help the student thrive to the best of their abilities.
1.) These are not “Gotcha” moments.
2.) This is not a chance to tell your teacher how bad they are.
3.) This is not a chance to tell a parent how bad they are.
The point of a parent-teacher conference is to not only fill the parent in on how well your child is doing but is a way for teachers to find out more information about your child and your child’s family life. It is a time for families and the school to work together for the student’s success because both want the students to thrive, to excel and do their best.