Preparing for Parent-Teacher Conference
November 5, 2018

Parent Teacher Conference

You just received a phone call or an email from your child’s teacher requesting a Parent Teacher Conference. You think to yourself, “Great, now what? What did my child do this time at school?” You flashback to when you were a student and waited at home while your parents went to talk with the teacher. Your cold sweat breaks in a moment.

Now you schedule a time to meet. The day comes and you walk through the campus. Things seem smaller than you remembered. You find the class door is propped open and you walk in. Walls are colorfully decorated and you catch a glimpse of artwork that was created in your kitchen. That makes you smile. Next, you look at neatly arranged chairs and tables and wonder if you can fit in them.

Thankfully the teacher directs you to another part of the class that has adult-sized chairs. You take your seat and the meeting begins. Wouldn’t it be nice to be prepared?

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This interview can be highly beneficial to a child’s school success. By preparing for three key parts of the meeting, parents can make the conference an informative and rewarding experience.

Parent teacher conference are a valuable tool to help you and your child’s teacher(s) work together.  Knowing how your child is doing in school and seeking out additional information will help you to assist your child reach their full potential and fostering a love of learning.

Advance Work

Review your child’s most recent report card along with grades from the last few years.

  • Use a highlighter and mark areas of concern.
  • Look for any trends or themes that are repeated from previous grades.
  • Identify if there are new challenges or trends.

Review your child’s most recent school work.

  • Is the work organized?
  • Does the work generally look complete and accurate?
  • How are the spelling and grammar?
  • If you have concerns, write them down and ask the teacher.

Discuss your upcoming parent-teacher interview with your child; you might be amazed at what you learn.

  • What is your teacher going to say about your work?
  • What will the teacher say about you?
  • What do you think you do really well?
  • What do you need to focus on?
  • Do you want me to ask the teacher any specific questions?

Come with prepared questions as meetings typically last 10 to 15 minutes. Maximize your time by making questions specific and organized by order of importance. Example questions include;

  • Do you have concerns about my child’s skill level?
  • Does my child have difficulty listening to or following instructions, staying on task, completing assignments, or any other challenges?
  • Does my child read with comprehension?
  • How well does my child read and understand words?
  • Does my child actively participate in your class?
  • Does my child hand in assignments on time, complete, and at an acceptable level?
  • What work areas does my child like best?
  • What areas are more difficult for my child?
  • What are my child’s learning strengths?
  • Are there things we can do at home to help my child?
  • Do you have suggestions or comments about my child’s behavior or performance that you would like to discuss?

Parent Teacher Conference — student at school

The Interview Itself

Take a notepad with your questions and take notes.

  • This lets the teacher know you are interested and serious about your child’s education.
  • This will assist you to remember what was discussed and agreed upon.
  • Periodically review your notes and keep them in a place you can find for the next conference.

Don’t be confrontational.

  • This is a time to exchange information about your child and agree on a plan of action.
  • If you don’t agree with the teacher’s opinion – stay calm.
  • Ask the teacher to elaborate on their viewpoint.
  • Assure the teacher that you’re not there to criticize.
  • Identify ways to work with the instructor as a team member for your child’s education.

Ask for suggestions

  • Encourage the teacher to provide suggestions on how to improve your child’s academic performance.
  • Use tools and strategies the teacher recommends to help the student perform in class.

Parent Teacher Conference — student at school

The Follow-up Action Plan

Agree on an action plan. Summarize the key points and identify the next steps.

  • Identify goals. This is an opportunity to create the plan.
  • Create measurements for those goals. Those measurements will determine who is responsible and when work is due.
  • Determine when follow-up needs to take place to verify goals are being met.
  • Without follow-up, there is no accountability.

Ask about alternative help.

  • Ask about alternative coursework.
  • Ask if supplemental education would benefit your child.
  • Find out what student services are available or talk to the principal about meeting an education expert for advice and guidance.

Nothing motivates a child more than a home where learning is valued. It is important that parents show a close interest in their children’s school progress, homework, and projects, and attend school events. With support such as that children are more likely to have higher student achievement, better attendance, and a more positive relationship with their teachers.

Grade Power Learning | Elk Grove TutorFor 25 years Grade Power Learning has been helping students reach their academic potential with uniquely developed programs that make a real difference in the way that children approach their learning. With GradePower Learning, better grades are just the beginning. has a huge resource of tutoring providers. To find out more, visit the Tutoring Category. You can also read more of the Education Category blog post.

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