Springtime Parent-Teacher Conference Checklist
Parent-Teacher conferences in the Spring often have a different tone than the ones that happen in the Fall. By now, the teacher knows your child well, and you know how your child is responding to the teacher. This is a great time to talk to the teacher about your child’s known strengths and weaknesses and to get some good ideas about finishing the year in the best possible way with an eye on the future.
Make the most out of your Parent-Teacher conference by following this helpful checklist to maximize the effectiveness of the conference for both you and your child’s teacher!
The easiest part of the Parent-Teacher conference should be the scheduling! Pass along SignUp.com to your teacher to free him or her from the tyranny of endless phone tag and email chains. SignUp.com offers free online SignUps that sync with eCalendars in real time –and can be accessed 24/7 from your smart phone, tablet, or computer. Best of all, the free automated reminders keep everyone on time for their conference!
Helpful Tips for Parents to Make the Most of These Meetings:
Talk to your child first!
Sit down with your child before the conference and explain that you are meeting with their teacher to see how the school year is going. Ask them how they feel about school and if there is anything they want you to specifically address with the teacher. Be sure to stress that they are not in any trouble –this meeting is to see how you can best support your child’s school efforts at home.
Prepare a list of questions such as:
- What are my child's strongest and weakest subjects?
- Does my child hand homework in on time?
- Does my child participate in class?
- Does my child seem happy at school?
- Does my child get along well with other students?
- What can I do at home to help?
During the conference:
- Be on time (or early) for the meeting. You’ll want every minute allotted for your conference!
- Ask the questions you’re most interested in first so you have time to cover them.
- Adopt a listening mode—by now your teacher knows your child enough to have gleaned information you might not have. Ask for specific examples or clarification of anything you don’t understand.
- Wrap up the meeting on time. If there is more to say, ask to schedule a longer conference on a different day. There is likely a conference after yours, and your child’s teacher will appreciate that you have respected the time constraints.
- Remember to stay calm during the conference.
- Ask your child's teacher for ways you can support your child’s education at home.
- Don’t forget to thank the teacher for all he or she does for your child!
After the conference:
Share conference highlights with your child - keeping it positive, but mentioning any areas of concern. Ask your child what they think of the feedback and what ideas they have for making the most positive impact on their learning.