How to Make the Most of Parent Teacher Conferences
By Sally Sacks M. Ed.
Often, Parents’ Evening comes just once a term, or even once a year for some students and parents; this makes that one evening extremely important to parents. As a parent, if you have concerns regarding your child’s education or development, or simply just want to see how your child is progressing out of your sight you’ll need to make sure you get the most out of parents’ evening. Check out our top tips for making parents’ evening work for you and your child.
Talk to Your Kids
Before the day take some time to discuss school life with your children. Ask them if they have any concerns or if there is anything they want you to mention to their teachers if your children have concerns it is important that their teacher knows about them.
Make Notes in Advance of the Parent Teacher Conference
It can sometimes be difficult to remember everything you want to say or ask so it’s a good idea to make notes beforehand so nothing is forgotten. You will only need brief notes to jog your memory.
Where possible arrange childcare for the evening you’ll find it much easier to talk candidly about your child’s education when they aren’t there. This will also help avoid any unnecessary distractions.
Take a Look at Their Work
Often, parents are given the opportunity to take a look at their child’s work before parent’s evening if you aren’t given this chance then ask to see examples of their work or reports. By checking their work you can pick out any issues or anything you want to praise them for.
Focus on your Child
Parents’ Evening is not the time to discuss any issues or questions regarding the school try to focus on your child and their development. If you have any questions about the school in particular, take them up with the Head Teacher at a later date.
Keep Teachers Informed
If there have been any changes at home then make sure you let your child’s teachers know about them as they make affect their time within school. You should also give teachers an insight as to how children behave at home too.
Don’t Let Things Build Up
If you have issues or questions before Parents’ Evening then don’t keep them stored up. Organise meetings with your child’s teachers before the day as waiting could make a problem worse.
Remember, you don’t have to stick to schoolwork during Parents’ Evening try asking how your child interacts with other children too as this will give you some insight as to how your child behaves when you aren’t around.
If you aren’t sure what to ask your child’s teachers take a look at the questions below:
· How is my child getting on?
· Is there anything they are struggling with/could improve on?
· Is there anything they are particularly good at/enjoy?
· How does my child behave?
· How does my child interact with other children?
· How does my child behave in group situations/activities?
· Is there anything I can do to help at home?
· Is there anything you would like to know about my child?
About the Author:
Sally Sacks, M.Ed is a licensed psychotherapist, with 20 years of experience, counseling individuals, children, families and couples. Sally is the author of www.sallysacks.com
Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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