Parent-Teacher conferences give you the opportunity to discuss the progress your child has made academically, socially, and behaviorally. It is also a time to voice any concerns you may have. For children with IEPs, it is a perfect time to review their goals.
Before the Meeting
It is important to be prepared and ask the right questions in order to make a solid plan for your child’s education.
- Before the conference, review with your child his/her feelings about school and explain why parent-teacher conferences are important.
- Make the appointment. Be on time. Bring a pen and paper. Be friendly and cooperative.
- Bring samples of work and reports (report cards, letters, and assignments that were given) to the meeting.
- Write down your questions to help you prioritize them in case there is not enough time. If you run out of time, you can always make an additional appointment.
- Speak positively to set the tone. You want the teacher to feel that you are a part of your student’s team. When you speak about problems and concerns, do not assign blame. Ask the teacher what you can do to help.
During the Meeting
- What are my child’s strongest and weakest subjects?
- How does my child learn? Is s/he a visual or physical learner? How is his/her teacher meeting these needs?
- How is my child tested? Evaluated? Is s/he receiving the right accommodations?
- Does my child hand in assignments on time?
- Does my child participate in class? Is s/he engaged and happy?
- Does my child’s behavior affect his/her learning? What is being done to help him/her?
- What can I do at home to support my child’s learning?
- How can I communicate with my child’s teacher regularly (phone calls, emails, notebook)?
- If your child receives special services in or out of the classroom, ask about progress in those classes or sessions. Who is providing these services, in what location, at what time, and how many children are in my child’s group?
- Ask for explanations about anything that you do not understand, such as grading or technical language.
- Thank the teacher, and any other people involved.
- After the conference, talk to your child about the meeting. Describe both the positive points and the areas that need to be worked on.
- Talk to your child about plans for the future.
- Stay in contact with the teacher and school on a regular basis.