Communication between schools and families effectively support student learning. A teacher may invite you to attend a parent-teacher conference and parents may request a conference at any time during the school year. Successful parent-teacher conferences focus on student learning and collaboration.
Things to Consider:
Stay Focused – Teachers and families want the same thing, student success. The teacher will share student work, test scores, and strategies to help your child. What you share will help you and the teacher identify strengths and opportunities for your child to be a more successful learner.
Be Collaborative – Your input is essential. Sharing information regarding your child’s past experiences, interests outside the classroom, and or personal situations will help the teacher better understand your child’s needs.
Inquire about an Interpreter â An interpreter may be available to attend the conference if English is not your primary language. Interpreters are not always available so it is okay to bring a friend or relative to interpret.
Request a New Time â If the scheduled conference time is inconvenient, it is okay to request a new time. If necessary, discuss with the teacher the possibility of conducting the conference via phone, Skype, or FaceTime.
Tips for a Successful Conference
Preparing for the conference:
- Discuss the conference with your child; make sure your child understands that the conference is focused on helping him/her be more successful
- Review work that your child has brought home to give you an idea of how your child is progressing
- Ask the child for feedback about school and if they have any issues to be discussed at the conference
- Make a list of questions or concerns to discuss with the teacher
At the conference:
- Ask the teacher if your child is exhibiting learning or behavior concerns
- Ask the teacher how you can support your child’s learning at home
- Ask the teacher how you can help your child build upon their strengths and develop where there is opportunity for growth
- Ask for clarification if you do not understand information provided by the teacher
- Stay on task and take notes
After the conference:
- Discuss the conference with your child
- If you developed a follow-up plan with the teacher, ask the child for their feedback
- Follow-up with the teacher regarding the child’s feedback, if necessary
- Keep in touch with the teacher regarding progress
- Share the plan with influential family/friends for their support or reinforcement