Tips for Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent teacher conferences are a great opportunity to talk one-on-one with your child's teacher and find out more about how they are doing on a daily basis. It also provides an opportunity to address any issues that might arise during the school year and identify areas where the child needs additional support and encouragement at home.
Here are some tips to help you, the parent or guardian, to get the most out of your 15-minute conference.
- Plan to arrive a few minutes early.You might have issues parking, signing in, or finding your child's classroom. Or you could just run into a friend in the hall. Make every moment of your conference count by being ready to begin when your conference is set to begin.
- Bring a notebook.The teacher may recommend some educational websites or mention a favorite book that you'd like to add to your child's library. You can take notes and jot prompts to help you remember a question.
- Look inside your child's desk.You may solve the mystery of why your child's homework isn't making it home at night just by looking inside his or her desk. If they are disorganized or haven't got any of the necessary materials to do their work, such as pencils, erasers, ruler, crayons, etc., then you might want to work with them on being organized and maintaining their things.
- Ask about their social skills.Your child may be doing well academically but having a hard time socially. Talk to the teacher about how your child gets along with other children in the classroom and on the playground.
- Look at a variety of projects.Tests are important, but so are art projects, essays, worksheets, and homework assignments. If a child is struggling with tests but doing very well on worksheets and homework, you might want to work on strategies to help them with testing. The teacher can help you find resources and will support your work in the classroom.
- Make sure you understand your child's schedule.If your child has lunch at 10:30 am but doesn't have their hardest subject until the end of the school day, it may explain why he or she is having difficulties. Talk to the teacher about ways to make the schedule work for all the students.
- Ask about extra help.Some districts receive funding to provide extra help for students. See if there are any programs available that might help your child.
- Find out the teacher's homework policy.Your child's teacher may view homework as a critical part of the process or just additional practice to master a skill. If there are issues that are affecting your child's ability to do homework, share that with the teacher.
- For middle school, junior high, or intermediate school students, ask the teacher what kind of support and resources the district will provide your child when it comes time for him or her to register for a program of study in the high school.
- For high school students, ask what career and college counseling is available.
Parent teacher conferences are a wonderful opportunity to meet and discuss your child's education and to help ensure that, working together, parents and teachers can help every child succeed.P.S. Be the first to know about breaking news from NJ Kids & Families, sign up for mobile alertsHERE!
New Jersey Education Association
180 W State St.
Trenton, NJ 08607-1211