Teachers are one of the best resources in helping both you and your child move forward in the school year. By forming relationships with your child's teacher, you can learn about her progress, where she needs improvement, and where she's thriving.
- Agree to a meeting time that's convenient so you won't feel rushed or distracted.
- Ask your child if there's anything he wants you to discuss with his teacher or anything he wants you to know beforehand. This will help you focus your questions and reduce the possibility of any unpleasant surprises. Plus, you can communicate to the teacher anything that's on his mind. Emphasize to him the positive focus of the meeting so he doesn't become overly worried about it.
Key Questions Every Parent Should Ask
- What information and skills will my child learn this year, and what are the standards she'll need to meet?
- How do you handle different learning abilities and styles?
- What seem to be her favorite subjects? Her strengths and weaknesses?
- Does she participate in class? Try hard?
- How are classes structured? Is she assigned to a group? How is the group determined?
- Are evaluations and grades based on tests, attendance, homework, portfolios, discussion, or other means? If my child falls behind, how will you handle it?
- How does my child get along with other students in the classroom?
- What kind of support should I be giving her at home? How can I learn about homework assignments?
- Have you noticed any worrisome behavior? If there's a problem, when, where, and what's happening, and how can it be fixed?
- Tell your child about the conference and explain (if appropriate) what was discussed.
- If there was a problem discussed, keep in touch with the teacher regularly so you can monitor your child's progress.
- As your child improves in his weaker areas, make sure you express your appreciation!
By asking the right questions and communicating with her teacher, you won't have to wonder how she's doing in school. Just remember to say thank you when the year comes to an end!