Note for Teachers: This is one of those articles you want
to print and include in your first day of class packet. Believe
me, it will reduce stress on both the Teacher and the Parent(s).
As a parent there are many things you will have to go through.
However, very few of events that will make you as nervous as your
child and one of these is the parent-teacher conference. While
this may be a nerve wracking event, there are some quick tips
for having a successful parent-teacher conference. When you are
preparing for your parent-teacher conference, you will want to
make sure you carefully choose your outfit. Even though this seems
to be trivial, you will want to dress as if you were going into
a job interview. The parent-teacher conference is a very important
meeting, so you will want to treat it this way through your apparel.
Another tip for the parent-teacher conference is to make sure
that you leave your children at home. This is not a parent-teacher-child
conference; it is made for you to discuss your child privately
with their teacher. One reason why you will not want to bring
your child into the conference is because they will be a distraction;
this is especially true if you have a younger child. If the purpose
of your parent-teacher conference is to bring a negative aspect
about your child into the open, you will definitely not want to
bring your child with you. Even though they are not being a suitable
student, you do not want to isolate them within this conference.
Remember, you will want to clearly discuss all of the child's
issues with the teacher without having to worry about hurting
your child's feelings or getting into an argument with the child
and teacher. In order to streamline the entire conference, you
will want to hire a baby-sitter during this conference.
If you have a child that requires special attention, or if you
simply want to ensure you gather all of the information the teacher
gives you, you will want to keep a notepad with you to take notes.
The teacher will provide you with suggestions, names of books
as well as other information to help make your child succeed.
If you do not carry a notepad with you, it will be easy to forget
key points of information you received throughout the conference.
If you are going into a parent-teacher conference knowing that
it is about correcting your child's attitude or school performance,
it can sometimes be an emotional experience. The main reason for
this is because whenever an individual hears something negative
about their child it is very easy for this information to make
you upset. This is why you will want to prepare yourself mentally
for the meeting. A great way to calm your nerves, and mind, before
a parent-teacher conference is to listen to calming music on your
way to the conference, by doing so you will relax your nerves
and have a calmer disposition for the meeting.
One needs to remember that the teacher is not here to point out
all of the negative aspects of your child, but rather, they want
to help change these issues. As the parent you will want to work
with the teacher in creating solutions to your child's problems.
When they are explaining the situations to you, try not to become
offended unless the teacher crosses professional boundaries. Feel
open to discuss why your child's behavior could be happening,
because this could help the teacher understand why your child
is acting the way they are. If you are a parent of a child who
has a learning disability or a behavior disability, you will want
to ensure you know all of the information concerning your child's
condition. You want to understand how your child's condition could
affect their schooling, and thus you may be able to clearly explain
your child's problems to their teacher.
It is easy to think that your role in the parent-teacher conference
is to simply sit in the room and listen to the teacher discuss
your child. While the teacher has an agenda, you also should have
an agenda. You will want to write down points you would like to
discuss, and questions you have for the teacher. Open communication
is key to having a successful parent-teacher conference. Don't
be afraid to ask questions if needed, and always make sure you
fully-understand what the teacher is explaining. Also remember
to keep an open mind to the teacher's suggestions, while sometimes
you may not completely agree with them, more than likely they
know what's best for your child's education.
While the above tips have been how to interact within the parent-teacher
conference, there are several things you will want to ensure you
do prior to the actual meeting. Perhaps the most important out
of all these is to talk with your child. Make sure you sit down
with your child and ask him or her if they have anything they
would like to ask their teacher. If your child is having a problem
with the teacher, you will want to gain your child's viewpoint
first. This will allow you to have all of the information needed
when you go into the parent-teacher conference. However, make
sure you do not completely block-out anything the teacher has
to say simply because your child says they were wrong. You will
want to hear both sides of a situation before making a final decision.
Another thing to do before you go to the conference is to arrive
at the conference several minutes early. While you will not want
to be more than ten minutes early, showing the teacher you are
ready and prepared for the conference will set a positive tone
for the meeting. Also, make sure that you do not stay past your
allotted meeting time. Parent-teacher conferences can be a nerve-wracking
and dreaded experience, however, when you follow these tips you
will be able to have a more productive and satisfying meeting.
Remember, the entire purpose of this conference is to help your
child, whether this means bringing an issue to the forefront,
or discussing further education options for your child. These
quick tips for having a successful parent-teacher conference will
help you throughout necessary event.