Tips for Parent Teacher Conferences

Take a peek at these nine parent-teacher conference tips for parents to consider, straight from southeast Michigan educators.

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Parent-teacher conferences offer an opportunity for parents to have a better idea of how their child is performing – academically and behaviorally – in class. In the February issue of Metro Parent, we provided four ways to boost the parent-teacher bond. To make the most of your child’s next conference review these tips for parent-teacher conferences from area educators.

Check your child’s progress online. April Raupp, a counselor at Eppler Junior High School in Utica, suggests that parents review whatever online assignment tracking program the school has in place to see how your child is doing.

Review conference information sent home. Your child’s teacher may include specific information you’ll need to know – like if the conferences will be held in his or her classroom or elsewhere in the building. The teacher may also have questions for the parents to answer in preparation for the meeting.

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Be on time. It may seem obvious, but teachers are meeting with several parents during the conference time. If you’re late that pushes back other parents’ meeting times, too.

Write down your questions. “Being prepared is important,” says Raupp. Writing down your questions ensures you won’t forget anything.

Take notes during the conference. Bring a notepad and paper to your parent-teacher conference to jot down ideas that the teacher may have for your child to work on at home.

Be positive. “One of the things parents need to do is come in with a real positive attitude,” suggests Pamela DeNeen, principal at Lindbergh Elementary School in Dearborn.

Schedule more time, if needed. For serious concerns about your child’s learning development or behavior, schedule time at another date to review this with your child’s teacher. Be aware that other parents are waiting to talk to the teacher too, so longer discussions need to wait. And if you have a serious concern about your child and school, contact your teacher right away instead of waiting to discuss it with the teacher during the conference.

Talk to your child. “We always tell parents to talk to the student after the conference,” notes Raupp. Share what you discussed with your children so they feel like they’re part of the conference process, too.

Consider saying thanks. You might drop the teacher a quick thank-you note via email or in your child’s take-home folder expressing your gratitude that he or she took the time to speak with you.

Now that you’ve got this parent-teacher conference tips for parents, are you ready for your next meeting with your child’s teacher?

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2016.

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