Ten Tips for Successful Parent Teacher Conferences

By Eileen Bailey

Parent teacher conferences normally occur at report card time, but both parents and teachers can request a conference at any time during the school year if there is a problem. For many parents, these conferences are a stressful time. Parents may worry they will hear bad reports about their child’s behavior at school or of failing grades. Parents may be intimidated by the thought of meeting with a child’s teacher.


Teachers, however, gain valuable information through parents and can use this knowledge to better teach the children in their class. They can find out what motivates a child, what they like and what they don’t like. Parents can discuss how their child learns and teachers can use this information to help a student succeed. Parents can use parent teacher conferences to find tools and strategies to help their child at home.


Working together, parents and teachers can offer a child a successful school year. The following are ten tips to help parents make the most of parent teacher conferences:


1)      Be on time for the conference. Teachers usually have a schedule they must keep. During report card conferences, parents are tightly scheduled to make time for all parents. If conferences are scheduled at other times, it is normally between classes or before or after school. Be considerate of the teacher’s time and arrive on time and keep your conference to the allotted amount of time.

2)      Be prepared to ask questions. Write down any concerns you may have prior to the conference so you don’t forget what you want to discuss. Ask specific questions such as: is your child participating in class? What subjects does he or she enjoy most? What subjects seem more difficult for him or her?

3)      Talk with your child before the conference. Find out if they are having problems at school or if he or she has any concerns to be addressed.

4)      Make the conference a give and take with the teacher. You can provide information about your child, about your home life, about strengths and weaknesses and about special needs your child may have. You are also there to find out information about how your child is doing in school and what areas, if any, your child may need extra assistance in.

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