Whether you are dreading or looking forward to Parent/Teacher Conferences, go with the goal of making the teacher your partner. Putting the teacher on the team is the key to a successful school year where your children can rise to their potential and you can open school emails without panic.
Here are 🌟5 Gold Star🌟 ways to create a parent/teacher partnership.
1. 🌟Before the conference, look over the work your child brings home or turns in electronically.
Teachers see your preparation as a sign of respect for what they are doing.
Choose one assignment that is creative/interesting and is worthy of a compliment to the teacher.
Write down any clarifying questions you have about the work. These are clarifying questions, not criticisms.
2. 🌟If the teacher uses a program like Google Classroom or Flipgrid, make sure you know how to navigate it. Your children will show you.
Using the Parent Portal to know what is happening in class and backing the teacher up on due dates, cuts the teacher’s workload.
Cutting the teachers’ workload means the teacher can spend more time supporting your children.
3. 🌟Ask your children to tell you some things the teacher does that they like/enjoy/learn.
Tell the teacher how much your child likes something.
Getting a compliment from a student means the world to a teacher.
4. 🌟Be ready for criticism as well as accolades.
Parent/Teacher Conferences are about strengths and weaknesses.
Be prepared to accept that your children have areas to build. (That’s why they are in school.)
Ask the teacher for suggestions on ways you can be a partner and increase the children’s performance.
5. 🌟The day after the conference, send the teacher a handwritten note or email that expresses thanks for their time and effort and cites a specific bit of information from the conference that you found particularly helpful/insightful.
You will earn an extra gold🌟 star for being the rare parent who does this.
You may be thinking, “Sari, I shouldn’t have to work so hard. This is the teacher’s job.”
My response is that raising children who are happy (most of the time), healthy, and growing to their full potential is really hard.
Teamwork makes it so much better.
To read more about preparing for parent/teacher conferences here’s an article I contributed to from the online publication SheKnows.