Happy Almost Spring!
Lesson: This time of year usually brings about 2nd semester Parent-Teacher Conferences for most schools. Oftentimes conferences can be a bit uncomfortable for some, especially if there is an inclination of anything negative that has to be reported or addressed. Taking time prior to conferences to reflect and jot down some questions allows parents to be prepared and ready for a productive meeting with their child’s teacher.
Here are 4 types of questions to consider as you prepare for the upcoming parent-teacher conferences at your child’s school:
- Reflective Questions: Set aside time in your schedule in advance to reflect on how your child has been developing academically and socially this school year. Take a look at their homework and assessment /test grades and feedback from the teacher and reflect on their performance. This is an opportunity to ask very specific questions about things you have observed about your child’s academic performance and behavior thus far in the school year.
- Is my child on the path to being prepared for the next grade level (both academically and socially)?
- Final Quarter Questions: This is the time that parents can get a clear picture of what the last stretch of the school year will look like.
- What are the general learning objectives that my child still needs to master before the end of the school year?
- What is your plan to help them master those objectives successfully?
- Support Questions: Extending an olive branch and letting your child’s teacher know that you are partnering with them to help your child succeed will always benefit your child tremendously.
- Is there anything I can do at home to support your efforts in the classroom?
- Next Level Questions: Your child’s teacher has probably spent more time with them this school year than you have. Get their perspective and recommendations on best options for further growth for your child moving forward. Maybe they see an area of need that hasn’t occurred to you.
- Are there any academic resources I should invest in or research for summer enrichment for my child?
- Are there any programs that my child would benefit from getting involved in this summer?
Hopefully your child’s teacher(s) will answer most of the question(s) you prepare before you even ask them. If not, by asking the questions above, you’ll be prepared to acquire valuable information. One very important missed step that often happens after conferences is lack of follow-through. If any “to do’s” or follow-up steps are put in place or suggested, be sure to follow-up with your child and the teacher to ensure that your child finishes the school year strong!
Application: Schedule a conference time with your child’s teacher(s) as soon as you are able. Sit down with your child (if age appropriate) and reflect on their progress to-date together. Then take the time to prepare thoughtful questions that will provide you with valuable insight from your child’s teacher.