Parent-teacher conferences serve as an important time in a child’s academic year. The teacher can provide updates and insight into your child’s progress within the classroom. In today’s schools, teacher’s conferences schedules are often jam-packed and you might only have fifteen precious minutes with the teacher to talk about your child. If you want to get the most out of this vital time with your child’s teacher, then a little prep is needed! Here are our top 10 tips for a successful parent conference:
10 Tips to Prepare for Conferences:
- Ahead of the conference (in fact starting today!) ask the teacher to log behaviors or issues, so you have concrete examples about behaviors your child is engaging in that the teacher wants to discuss.
- Make a questions list beforehand. Focus questions not only how the child is doing academically but also socially and behaviorally.
- Invite your child to suggest if there is anything you should know before you go in or any concerns he or she would like to raise.
- Ask your child what he or she likes about school and also what he or she does not like.
- Ask the teacher how you can make sure your child reaches his or her potential? What extra activities would be recommended?
- Ask the teacher who your child is friends with and how that aspect of school is going.
- Ask the teacher who your child sits with at lunch and if he or she smiles a lot and looks happy.
- Ask the teacher if she has any other concerns about your child besides academics.
- If the teacher says anything negative about your child, without follow up, ask for a solution(s) and tell her you also will think of some.
- Don’t be defensive, just ask good questions!
Remember that the teacher is there to help your child develop to the highest potential. It is important to take the advice that is provided as they have seen many children and can readily identify areas of strength and weakness. It is important to work as a team to make sure your child’s academic and social needs are met.
If your child’s teacher identifies concerns regarding your child; the best advice is to be proactive and garnish additional information instead of waiting. If there are possible concerns regarding the child’s attentional regulation, learning, and/or social-emotional functioning, it would be recommended to seek out a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation to help identify whether or not there is a specific diagnosis such as ADHD, a learning disability, anxiety, or Autism Spectrum Disorder. If and when a specific diagnosis is identified, individualized recommendations would be able to be created to help the child progress at the highest level possible.
If you are in the Chicago area and would like to discuss issues that arise from parent-teacher conferences or you have other concerns regarding your child, please contacts us at 1-866-309-4610 or fill in the contact form on this page.