How to Get the Most Out of a Parent-Teacher Conference
Parent-Teacher conference time makes many parents nervous, but it does not need to be this way. Conferences are not an attack on your child, nor is it a time to put all the flaws of your child on display. Instead, shift your perspective. The question you should be asking is, “How can the teacher and I come together for the benefit of my child?” Here’s how to view Parent-Teacher conferences in a positive light.
Teacher will be held accountable for teaching curriculum
When teachers start to explain all the standards that your child will learn in class for the coming year, it may be overwhelming! From the parent’s perspective, there are a lot of concepts that your child will learn. However, the flip side of this is that the teacher is actually outlining all the teaching standards by which he or she will be held accountable for teaching. This is the teacher’s commitment to you and your child.
Child’s work demonstrates opportunity for growth
Often times, the teacher will show a sample of what has been worked on in class in the first several weeks of school. This is a good opportunity to note what your child is capable of doing early in the school year and then using that as a measurement for growth. Adopt a “growth mindset” approach to your child’s progress. Make sure that your child is putting forth their best effort and has the expectation to continue improving. In as much as your child commits to doing their best, parents should commit to supporting their child through the learning process.
Parents should share their aspirations for their child
During the final phase of the parent-teacher conference, be sure to share what hopes and dreams you have for your child. Do you wish for your child to develop leadership skills? Would you like your child to be more responsible? Are you interested in having your child participate in community service projects (like cultivating a community garden, helping to sort recycling, etc.)? Aside from academic content, teachers are also more than willing to partner with you in the character development of your child. Communicating the dreams you have for your child will give the teacher insight into how you and the teacher can work together as a team for the benefit of your child.
The truth is that teachers are on your side and are equally invested in the success of your child. Think “win-win”!
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