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The first parent-teacher conference of the school year provides a great opportunity for you and your child's teacher to share insights and information about him. At this meeting, you can develop a relationship with the teacher and present yourself as a team player in your child's education. If your child has a learning disability and recieves special education services, it's essential that you make the most of the conference with the general education teacher. Because most teachers schedule 30 minutes or less for each conference, planning ahead can help you maximize the experience.
Tips for Parent Teacher Conferences
It's that time of year again.. Parent Teacher Conference Time! For many, this is a dreaded time of year, those twenty minutes when you must listen to how your child is misbehaving in class, not handing in homework or not living up to their potential. The following tips should help to make conferences easier.
1. Prepare ahead of time for the conference.
2. Look over recent assignments and test grades so that you know how your child has been performing in class. Look through books and see what your child is learning.
3. Ask your child questions, such as what is their favorite subject, what are they having a difficult time with, what subject do they find easiest, and who are their friends at school.
4. Write down questions you have for the teacher so you will remember what you wanted to ask.
5. List your child's strengths. Keep this in mind during the conference. Many times as we hear teachers talk about what our child is doing wrong, we forget their strengths. Remind the teacher about your child's strengths and ask how you can work together to further develop them.
6. Be on time for the conference, most are tightly scheduled. Being even 5 minutes late will substantially cut down on the time you have with the teacher.
7. Be open to suggestions from the teacher. Ask what you can do at home to help your child be more prepared for school.
8. Offer suggestions and insights into your child. You know your child best and you may be able to offer information that will help the teacher to better help your child succeed.
9. Ask about social interactions as well as academic. Children struggling with friendships can suffer from low self esteem which can cause additional problems in school.
10. If you find your child is struggling in school, ask to reschedule the conference for the following week. This way the teacher will be able to spend more than 20 minutes with you and you can both work together to develop a plan to help your child succeed.
No matter how many suggestions, Parent Teacher Conferences can be stressful for both you and your child. Before attending the conference, be sure to let your children know how much you love them and that you will love them no matter what the teacher may say. Let them know that conferences are not for the teachers to "tattle" on children, but for parents and teachers to work together to best help them succeed.