Guide to great parent-teacher conferences
Family/school partnerships are key for student success, and one of the top ways to build those partnerships is with successful parent-teacher conferences. This is a time for parents/guardians and teachers to share important information, discuss and challenges and form relationships focused on ensuring student success.
UA will hold conferences this week, and we wanted to provide our families tips for a great conference.
Before the conference: Do your homework.
Talk with your student to understand any questions or concerns about school.
Review your child’s progress reports, report cards and work s/he has brought home.
Make a list of notes with any questions you have about the school or teacher’s programs or policies.
Write down information about your student that the teacher should know, such as a family death, divorce, changed finances, illness or a new home.
If you can’t make the scheduled appointment, contact the teacher to reschedule.
At the conference: Questions for the teacher
What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
Do you think my child is working up to his/her ability? Where could s/he use improvement?
Does my child ask questions, volunteer answers, and participate in discussion?
Does my child get along with classmates?
Is my student respectful and courteous?
How can I support my student’s learning at home?
At the conference: Other tips
If you don’t understand something, ask the teacher to explain.
Find out the best way (notes, phone calls, e-mail) and the best time to communicate with the teacher.
Be aware that the teacher needs to talk to other families. Ask to schedule a follow-up meeting, if necessary.
After the conference
Jot down a couple of notes about the conference.
Discuss with your student what the teacher told you, especially the positive comments.
Talk about goals and make a plan to reach them together.
Contact the teacher whenever you have questions. If your student is not doing well, set up a regular schedule with the teacher to monitor progress.
Send the teacher a thank-you note when something good happens in the classroom.
Talk with your student every day about school. Attend school events and offer to help from home or volunteer in the classroom or at UA.
*Based on information from the National Education Association and the State of Washington Office of the Education Ombudsman.