Beyond the Classroom: The importance of parent-teacher conference
It seems like school has just started and already we are talking about parent-teacher conferences. Wolford will have its first conference on Oct. 1, Rugby Public Schools on Oct. 27 and 28, and Little Flower also on Oct. 27 and 28. Only Wolford is making a change to its PTC schedule this year. We have our first conference after 26 days of school. This change was initiated to allow students, parents and teachers to collaborate in a timely manner, allowing for necessary interventions if necessary.
Every teacher I have ever known wants a productive PTC. Parents want the same. I believe the following steps can help lead to a productive parent-teacher conference that results in greater student success, which is the common goal for all of us.
1. Talk to your child before the conference – Ask your child what is going well and what is not going well. Does your child have questions for the teacher? Relay these to the teacher.
2. Go with a plan – You know your child the best! Share ideas that can help the teacher work with your child.
3. Provide input before the meeting – If you have specific questions/concerns, email them to the teacher in advance of the conference. This requires the student and parent to further think about the conference. It also allows the teacher time to study concerns and better prepare for the conference. It also provides the teacher a written document to keep for future reference and follow-up.
4. Arrive on time and stick to your child’s issues.
5. Create a follow-up plan – Try to leave the conference with one or two mutually agreed upon goals that will require student, parent and teacher follow-through. The student, parent and teacher can all work on these agreed upon goals and then communicate results in an agreed upon format.
Throughout the conference and possible follow-up, keep the focus on the academic, social and emotional well-being of your child. We want all children to be successful. Perhaps following these steps can aid in your child’s future success.
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