Posted by: TominThai | 23/03/2011

Parent/Teacher Conferences…

Parent-teacher conferences are finally here and they are an excellent opportunity to find out how your child has been adjusting to being in Year 1 and to get to know her/his teacher a little better.  However, if we communicate regularly, or if i see you every week then please don’t feel pressured to try and squeeze into an appointment slot.  I always wonder the same thing each year with my parents, as I often see the parents i talk to regularly expecting something new.

The parent-teacher conference is a unique opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on your child’s progress in school and to share your parental insights, so you will want to use this limited time to its best advantage.  Think about the topics and questions you would like to discuss at the conference.

You may also want to discuss how your child interacts with peers, what the teacher perceives as your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and whether your child is usually prepared and motivated to work throughout the day. Prioritizing your ideas will ensure that the key points are addressed.

Arrive for the conference promptly. Listen carefully to what the teacher has to say and take notes. Set a cordial tone with positive initial remarks, for example, “Barry is enjoying the unit on China.”

Foster the partnership between your child’s teacher and yourself and present each of your concerns with a possible solution in a friendly, nonthreatening manner. Instead of stating, “My daughter is bored by math this semester. What can you do?” consider a positive approach: “Karen had a good grasp of adding from math camp this summer. Perhaps she can create some practice tests on her own as a reinforcement.” Strive to see ideas from a variety of perspectives: the teacher’s, the other students’, and your child’s as well as your own.

If specific follow-up points are discussed during this meeting, you may want to schedule another one. Keep in mind that you and the teacher can communicate via e-mail, phone, or letter if meeting face-to-face is not convenient or practical.

Finally, here are some general hints on how to have a successful conference:

  • Ask your child if there is anything that he would like you to discuss with the teacher.
  • Jot down everything that you want to talk about at the conference.
  • Arrive promptly or a few minutes early.
  • Begin with positive comments you may have to set a friendly tone.
  • Avoid lengthy discussions of topics that are not related to the purpose of the conference.
  • Be open to suggestions from the teacher.
  • Take notes about what has been discussed and share them with your child.
  • Do not stay beyond your allotted time as other parents may also be waiting

Finally, here is a link to the time schedule i’ve prepared online as a Google document and I will also post a list directly on the site as a tab at the top like our weekly spellings and calendar. Thanks so much and see some of you guys next week!

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