How to Make the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

How to Make the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

You have ten minutes to talk about your child with their teacher. Those ten minutes might feel like they fly by. Or it may feel like you have no idea what you should use that time for. Either way, hopefully these tips can help you make the most of that important time.

1. Be early to be on time – Arriving about five minutes before your time slot can help ensure you don’t miss any of your time with the teacher.

2. Do your homework – Asking your child about his experience at school, reviewing their work and grades, and making a list of questions you want to ask ahead of time can be very helpful.

Some question you may want to use include:

  • What areas of strength do you see in my child?

  • If you could pick one area of focus on improving for my child, what would it be?

  • How does my child contribute to the class atmosphere?

  • What concerns do you have about my child?

  • Does my child seem happy at school?

  • What goals do you have for my child this year?

  • How will this be assessed?

  • What is being done at school to help ensure he/she reaches these goals?

  • How can I help my child achieve these goals?

  • What is the best way to follow up about the things we’ve talked about today?

3. Ask for clarification – There is a lot of educational lingo and many acronyms that teachers are familiar with but you shouldn’t be expected to know. If a teacher is using language that you aren’t familiar with, don’t be shy to ask them to explain what a word means.

4. Focus on the future – Parent-teacher conferences should be a progress report and a time for parents and teachers to set goals and think about next steps. Make sure you are clear on the teacher’s expectations for your child by the end of the year. Save a few minutes at the end of the conference for next steps and ask for concrete steps you can take to help them meet those goals.

For a helpful Parent-Teacher Conference planning sheet with example questions, follow this link to Understood.Org.

Many of our psychologists have a background in working in education and schools and would be happy to help you in supporting your child’s learning. Contact us at (734) 323-4897 or for more information.