How a Traditional Parent-Teacher Conference Works

Your child spends about 180 days with their teachers. If you want your child to live up to their potential academically, then you have to form a partnership with their teacher. Working as a team, you all can help your child succeed and leave high school ready for the next phase.

Periodically, parents and teachers hold formal meetings called parent-teacher conferences to discuss how the child is progressing academically and behaviorally. As a parent, I know you want to put your best foot forward and take advantage of this opportunity. The following tips will help to ensure that your conference is productive:

  1. When setting up a parent-teacher conference with your child’s teacher, make sure you agree upon a time of day when neither of you will be hurried.
  2. Treat the conference the same way you would a professional meeting or a job interview. By being prepared for your parent-teacher conference, you have already assured success. Make a list of questions for your child’s teacher and bring the list with you.
  3. Leave your personal feelings at the door, and be ready to engage in one of the most important meetings you will ever attend.
  4. Speak calmly with your child’s teacher. Do not criticize them.
  5. Listen carefully at the meeting, and don’t hesitate to say what’s on your mind.
  6. Brace yourself for the possibility of bad news. Ask your teacher not to “sugarcoat” any of your child’s negative habits.
  7. Work with your child’s teacher to create a plan of action for helping your child improve academically and behaviorally. Make sure you follow through on it.
  8. Discuss the conference with your child afterward. Give them the pros and cons of her performance, and list the corrective measures that will be taken to help them perform at an optimal level.

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