By Denise Yearian
Parent-Teacher Conferences allows parents and teachers the time and opportunity to discuss the school progress, performance and behavior of children with their parents.
At the start of every school year, parents enter into an alliance that greatly affects the children’s academic success. Though the parent-teacher partnership begins the day their students walk through the school doors, the true cooperative effort occurs during conference time.
Nearly all schools hold parent-teacher conferences in the fall. But frequency and duration vary from one academic setting to another. Some schools offer them once a year for 15 minutes. Others schedule them twice and year for 30 minutes. The key is to arrive prepared to make the most of the time you have.
Ideally, the parent-teacher conference allows both parties to share ideas about the student’s progress and performance. Neither the teacher nor the parent should dominate the conversation; there should be a significant sharing of information.
During conference time, parents can expect to get a glimpse of their child’s work and find out how he or she is progressing. Many teachers will share with parents a portfolio of the student’s work, noting areas in which the child is doing well and areas that need work.
If, during the conference, an academic or behavioral concern is addressed, most teachers make a recommendation and ask for the parents’ input.
Parents can tell the teacher a little about their child’s likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. It may even help to let the teacher know if there are any stressful conditions in the child’s life — move to new neighborhood, death of a loved one, divorce, etc.
The following questions are samples of the kinds of things parents might ask about:
If parents have concerns about a teacher’s style or performance, it’s best to arrive prepared with respectful and constructive feedback, as well as potential solutions. ollowing the conference, parents should sit down with their child and talk about what was discussed. Children should know that their parents and teachers are working together in the child’s best interest.
Chesapeake Family serves parents and families in Annapolis, Bowie, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Prince George’s, Howard, Baltimore counties as well as the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Conference Do’s & Don’ts
• develop a partnership between parents and
• blame or criticize for the student’s weaknesses.
Source: Norbel School, Head of School,