THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE

With 6 years of teaching under my belt, parent teacher conferences should have been a cinch for me. I understood that maintaining regular contact with parents before and after the conference was essential. I understood that in order to set a positive tone for the conference, it was important to start with a positive comment about each student. I understood that forging and nurturing parent relationships made a positive impact on student progress.

But now it was my turn. It was my turn to hear about how my son was adjusting to kindergarten. It was my turn to hear how he got along (or didn’t get along) with others. It was my turn to hear what I could do at home to promote my child’s development. It was my turn to sit on the other side of the table. With 6 years of teaching under my belt, sitting on the other side of the table made me feel uneasy.

Let me help you. If you feel nervous, apprehensive, or just not quite ready for what you may hear at your child’s parent teacher conference. To prepare for your next parent teacher conference, consider the tips below:

  1. Be prepared to take notes about your child’s academic achievement and social adjustment.

  2. Check your child’s folder for examples of assignments, projects, and testing data.

  3. Share relevant information so that the teacher is informed about your child’s behaviors, strengths, and learning styles.

  4. Find out about the enrichment and intervention strategies to support your child’s learning.

  5. Discuss issues that may be interfering with your child’s progress in school.

  6. Ask the teacher for strategies you can use at home to meet your child’s needs.

  7. Listen actively and be a strong advocate for your child.

  8. Breathe, relax, and prepare to take action.

“A child's ideas about education and its significance begin with the parent.”

Author unknown

Please comment below to let me know how you handle parent teacher conferences. Let me know if you used any of the steps above.

Until next time….

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