Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Preparing for effective conferences

Radio Commentary

Parent-teacher conferences can be a very helpful means of communication. To increase their effectiveness, parents should consider some preliminary steps.

First, take time before the conference to think about your child’s strengths, challenges, study habits, and classmates.

Ask your child: What do you like about the classroom? What would you like to change? Do you understand the work? Do you feel you’re doing well? What makes you think so?

There are also several questions a parent should ask the teacher during the conference: What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses? How can I help him improve? Is my child working up to his ability? If not, why do you think so and how can I help?

Is my child’s schoolwork progressing as it should? If not, how can I help her catch up? If my child is already ahead of other students, what will challenge or encourage her?

How does my child get along with other students? Does he take part in groups? Is he unusually shy or aggressive?

Are there any special behavior or learning concerns I need to know about?

What kinds of tests will be given this year? What are the tests supposed to tell?

Is my child’s homework turned in on time, and does it meet your expectations? How much time should be spent on homework each night?

Remember, teachers and parents share the same goal: Both want the child to learn and succeed. Together, they can become a powerful force for positive change in the life of a child.