Tips for meeting teacher

Home-School Connection

November 17, 1999|By Susan Rapp | Susan Rapp,Village Reading Center

Parental involvement is critical to the success of children in school.

A perfect time to get to know your child's teacher and school is during American Education Week, Nov. 14-20.

Schools usually invite parents in this week to see what their children are learning.

Parent-teacher conferences are often held around this time. Here are some suggestions for a successful parent-teacher conference.

Call your child's school and request a conference with the teacher.

Arrive promptly. Teachers usually schedule several parent conferences in a row.

Be prepared to listen first, and then speak.

Begin the conference on a positive note. Tell the teacher what your child likes about the class or teacher and one or two things the teacher is doing that you appreciate.

Ask your child what she would like you to discuss. This may clue you in to her concerns.

Because time is limited, prepare a list of questions ahead of time and organize them in order of importance .

Take notes so you can review what the teacher shares with you.

Questions to Ask

What are my child's greatest strengths in school? Weaknesses?

What is my child's academic level in reading? In math? Ask for clarification if you don't understand something the teacher says.

Can you show me how her writing has progressed since the beginning of the school year? What does she need to work on the most?

What is your policy on assigning homework? How much time should she spend on homework each night?

What is my child doing in art, music, physical education? How can I develop these skills and talents?

How do you prefer to communicate with me during the year? Some teachers prefer a phone call, some a visit and some like to receive information in writing. Teachers appreciate feedback from parents, so make a note on your home calendar to contact the teacher in a month.

Every conference should conclude with a mutually agreed-upon plan for the next steps. Summarize your understanding of your role in the strategy before leaving and indicate your appreciation of the job your child's teacher is doing.

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