Parent-teacher conferences are a terrific opportunity for you to communicate with teachers about your child’s progress. Typically, a parent-teacher conference will take 30-45 minutes. During this time, the teacher will show samples of your child’s work so that you will have a better understanding of your child’s specific strengths and areas of need.
Before the conference
- Look over your child’s report card so you will be familiar with it. Principals often review the report card at Back-to-School Night.
- Jot down questions and concerns you have about the teaching program.
- Jot down any information about your child that might be helpful to the teacher.
- Talk to your child to find out about his or her perceived areas of strength and challenge.
- Ask your child if there are any specific questions he or she would like you to ask the teacher.
During the conference
- If you are unfamiliar with the report card, ask for a short explanation of how it works.
- Ask the teacher to share examples of your child’s work.
- Ask the teacher to explain and give examples of “proficient” student work so you will know what the grade-level expectations are.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if the teacher uses terms you don’t understand:
- What do you mean when you say…?
- What does that term mean?
- How did you determine …?
- Ask how the teacher plans to support your child’s progress.
- Ask the teacher for specific suggestions about how you can support your child’s progress at
After the conference
- Discuss the report card marks with your child. Focus first on your child’s strengths and then highlight 1-2 areas for growth.
- Discuss the plan you have formed with the teacher to support learning at home.
- The conference should not be the only conversation you have with the teacher about your child’s progress.
- Stay in touch with the teacher throughout the school year.
Remember, a strong parent-teacher partnership will benefit your child.