Parent-Teacher Conference Ideas

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Parents and teachers should work together for the benefit of children.

Parent-teacher conferences are informative meetings where students' behavior and academic performance are discussed in detail. These conferences are also opportunities for teachers and parents to see how they can work together towards the desired results concerning classroom behavior and learning. Parent-teacher conferences can be stressful because of what teachers should say and what parents may hear, but they can also represent a valuable time investment if everyone gets their questions answered.

  1. Parents

    • Meeting the teacher is a great opportunity for parents to learn how they can get more involved in their child's school life. School and family should work together to find the best way to help a child. Sometimes, parents might hear things they don't like about their child, but, generally, it is nothing personal because teachers have no intention of blaming them. Parents can attempt to give possible reasons for their child's behavior or poor academic performance or try to identify and eliminate them with the teacher's help.

    Questions to Ask

    • To take full advantage of the parent-teacher conference, parents should write down their concerns so they don't forget them. Questions about the child's relationship with peers, his overall behavior in the classroom, his interest (or lack of interest) in a particular subject matter and his results in tests and examinations are worth asking about so parents have first-hand information about their child's social life and his academic weaknesses and strengths. At the end of the meeting, parents should ask for details about a follow-up.

    Teachers

    • Teachers should have detailed accounts of all their students' activities. They should make their classroom comfortable and welcoming before parents arrive. The parent-teacher conference should begin with the positive points in a student's progress and then the negative and positive aspects should alternate. All statements (especially the negative ones) should be backed up with facts and dates. Teachers should also listen carefully to what parents have to say about their child so they can suggest an efficient plan to improve students' overall school performance.

    Topics to Discuss

    • When talking about their students, teachers should be able to show parents copies of their assessments and assignments. They should also be prepared to give details about how children work and behave during each class. If they have negative points to discuss, like poor performance or bad behavior, teachers should avoid being judgmental. Parents need to hear the solutions teachers may suggest and what they can do together, not whose fault it is and how parents should educate their children. They also want to hear what is good about their children because all children have good sides that parents could be proud of.

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  • Photo Credit boy behind parents image by Pavel Losevsky from Fotolia.com

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