Benefiting from Parent Teacher Conferences – Part 2

Thank you for continuing to follow our series, Benefiting from Parent Teacher Conferences. Last week, you learned that positive levels of communication between a parent and a teacher aids in improving academic performance. A conference is a method of ensuring that both parties are deeply involved in the education of a child. Not only is a conference an effective means of learning important information about your child’s progress in school, it is a wonderful method for a teacher to learn more about the child – as an individual. You have already learned about the teacher’s expectations when it comes to conferences and how to prepare before the conference. This week, you will learn what needs to happen during and after the conference in order to reap the highest level of rewards from a parent teacher conference.

The Conference
When a parent teacher conference is set up, it is important to ensure that you are either early or on time for the event. In most instances, a teacher will have a certain day set up where they meet with multiple parents. Once the conference starts, you should start with introductions. You should then provide the educator with the methods that they may use to contact you. Immediately thereafter, you should inquire about which forms of contact that the teacher prefers. These methods may include emails, phone calls, or a specific web portal set up by your school. It is important to allow the teacher time to talk and to inquire about your child. You should offer complete answers that are 100% honest. You should then ask questions that you have. As the teacher answers, be certain to take down any important information.

As the conference progresses, it is imperative that you place a special focus on your child’s academic, social, and emotional progress in the classroom. It may be tempting to socialize with the teacher. If you see this as something that you would like to do, let the teacher know and inquire about the methods of socialization that they are most comfortable with. Then, you may set that up for a later time. During the conference, you will want to ask to see certain types of information. Examples include your child’s work in class, their desk area, and any other types of information relevant to their learning. You should then summarize the details of the conference and determine the next steps to be taken.

Following the Conference
Following the conference, you should review any and all notes that you have taken and determine the best steps to be taken in order to support your child’s academic, social, and emotional growth and progress. You should then discuss those steps with your child. You should also take the time to ensure that share any and all positive things that your child’s teacher had to say with your child. This will increase their self-esteem. If you have any questions, you should use the teacher’s preferred method of contact and ask those questions. It is also considered to be polite to send a thank you note to the teacher and follow up with them within a few weeks on the conference. If you follow the steps outlined in this two-part series, you are sure to see a difference in your child’s progression.

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