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 home.
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.