How To Have a Successful Parent-Teacher Conference: A Parent's Guide

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.