Tips for Parent-Teacher Conferences

1. Ask about the homework policy: what is it, how often is homework given, how long should it take, how much help should the parent need to offer, does the teacher want the parent to help the child or would the teacher prefer the child to make his/her own mistakes?

2. Try and determine the teacher’s personality: friendly, shy, assertive, patient, overbearing.

3. See if the teacher recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of the child: find out what they are.

4. Ask the teacher what his/her policy is if there is a problem with the child: does the teacher call the parent, send home a note, what if you see an issue, is the teacher receptive to being in contact with the parent?

5. Ask to see examples of the child’s work so far – if the conferences are a reasonable amount of time into the school year.

6. Determine where your child fits into the class: seating assignment, friends, doing his/her work so far, punctuality.

7. Find out what you can do to help the teacher help your child: Ask this question!!!

8. Ask questions without putting the teacher on the defensive.

9. Listen more than you speak.

10. Watch the time. Teachers hate to be put behind in their schedule because parents take too much time – usually repeating themselves. If a parent needs more time to discuss a serious issue, book another session at another time with the teacher.

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