Every year, you (and often your child as well) have the opportunity to interact with your child’s teacher and talk about the progress of your child. Here is what you can expect from these meetings and a few tips on how you can get the most out of these.
Introduction to Parent-Teacher Meetings
These meetings are the best time to talk the teacher about how your child is doing academically. You can rather call them as parent-teacher interviews, or parent-teacher conferences or even learning conferences.
Most of the schools organize a meeting at early part of the year and then after the results of mid-year examinations that has been sent home.
Generally, they offer you a set time, invite you to contact them to arrange that time, or more and more school are now opting for a website on which the parents can choose a suitable time and reserve that time slot. Some schools hold the meeting in the evening and they are called Parents evenings.
More than one person is also allowed in the meeting that means other family members are equally welcome. The meetings are useful, positive meetings where to hear things from your child’s teacher; you can raise questions and share your point of view as well thus making you and your child a partner in education of your child.
Many schools allow the kids to attend the meetings as well, these type of meetings are referred to as three-way conferences. If you think you need the child to attend the meeting, and your school does not offer that then you should ask the teacher if it’s okay.
What to do before going to the meeting?
Meetings are meant to be brief. Thus, preparing well in advance for the meeting is going to optimize the value you bring out of the meeting. Make notes and save time.
- Consider what you think about your child’s work – parents often notice these things when they are helping their child with homework.
- Ask your child about their feelings about the school and things that they are really enjoying, is it too easy or too difficult?
- You should take questions from your child as well which he or she wish to inquire. The child himself can ask these questions in any three way conference.
- Have a thorough look at the recent school transcripts and jot down anything you notice about them.
What are some types of questions can I ask?
- Does my child get involved well in the class?
- How’s my child’s progress?
- What are their good qualities?
- What are the areas where child needs help?
- What can I do to help?
- Does my child go along well in the class? Do they appear settled?
- Is there any particular problem?
- What would be the best way to contact you if I want to follow up on the things we’ve talked about?
Is it a good idea to share the summary of the meeting with my child?
Your child may or may not ask about the meeting. Even then, there is curiosity in his little brain to know about the meeting. In the starting share all the positive things that the teacher said and praise them enough. Then talk about the suggestions that your teacher has given and things you could do at home.
If there are things that you disagree with and it irks you, then stay positive about the teacher or school in front of the child. The concerns can’t be solved at the moment, you should arrange a separate appointment with the school to get clarifications and follow up on the concerns.
Should I talk to the teacher outside of a Parent-Teacher Meeting?
Yes, you can always talk to the teacher. In fact, you and the teacher are in a partnership and the collective goal is the growth of your child. So, we encourage you to talk regularly with the school. Ask the teachers for best way to communicate with them.
Additionally, you can follow up on things that were talked about during the Parent-Teacher Meeting, or talk about the issue or topic in more depth.
Perhaps, you can even talk to the teacher in person for brief discussions without making an appointment –just make sure you approach the teacher in a good way outside of the class times.
If brief interviews are not long enough for you, then make an appointment to get plenty of time at your hand to have the talk.