Rarely do I venture out of the house without a “post-it” note reminding me what I want and where I’m going. I’m pretty sure I’m not that different from most people. Going to the grocery store requires a list. Running errands requires a list. Just shopping in general I have some idea of what I want (even though my hubby would tell you I come home with more items than I originally planned on).
I’m asking you to take the time to prepare for this important meeting with your child’s teacher. Just as we expect our teachers to prepare for these meetings (and they have to plan and prepare for a class full of children’s parents), it’s as important for parents to prepare. This is your time to talk one-
on-one with the professional that spends most of the day with your child. It’s your chance to build that very important parent-teacher partnership as well as check in on your child’s progress.
Here are some ideas as you prepare for your meeting:
1. Look over work that has been sent home, think about how your child completes homework (is it a struggle or easy), review any notes previously sent from the teacher, and get your child’s viewpoint on his/her class. Also think about your child’s strengths and challenges. Jot down anything you want to remember to share with the teacher.
2. Try and get to the conference early. The teacher’s schedule is tight. If you are late it will shorten your time to talk about your child.
3. Listen carefully to the information about your child’s progress and any areas needed for improvement.
4. Ask questions and take notes. Some possible questions to ask:
- Is he/she performing on grade level?
- Do the work samples shared meet grade level expectations?
- Does the teacher feel your child is doing his/her best?
- What does the teacher see as your child’s strengths/challenges?
- If the teacher says your child is easily distracted, ask if this is noticed during specific times or in specific subjects. The goal is for you both to figure out a solution to help your child.
- Share what your child likes to read at home and ask for other
- Ask what you can do at home to support what the teacher is doing in the classroom.
5. Before ending the meeting - make sure the teacher knows the best way to communicate with you.
6. Take action with anything that needs to be addressed with your child by following the suggestions provided by the teacher (i.e. getting a tutor, organizing homework area, etc.)
Finally, remember you both want the same thing – your child’s success!
Good luck and don't leave home without your "post-it" note!
See you in two weeks.