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Parent-Teacher Conferences: Basic Guidelines

by YPI Editors | November 1st, 2016 | Elementary, Preschool, School, School, School, School, Teens, Tweens
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parent-teacher-shaking-handsAs November begins, many students are finishing the first quarter of the school year. With this demarcation usually comes parent-teacher conferences. As a parent and a former teacher, I have to admit that these conferences can be stressful for both sides of the table. Parents may enter unsure of what they will hear during their meeting. By the same token, teachers may be nervous, as they are uncertain as to questions that will be asked.

Today I present to you some simple suggestions that should help make your parent-teacher conference go smoothly for all.

  • Enter the conference with an open mind. Don’t be worried or upset. This is simply a meeting to learn more about your child’s progress thus far. Whether your child is blooming gloriously or struggling daily, it’s early in the year. Take this segment of time to hear and learn.
  • Be on time. This is true for all things in life, but even more so for conferences. Typically they are scheduled in 15 or 20 minutes blocks and run back-to-back for hours. Your five minute delay will either affect the length of your conference or those who follow.
  • Don’t let the meeting run late. Understand that you have a set amount of time. Every parent thinks his child is wonderful (hopefully) and would love to chat about her for much longer. However, there are many other parents needing to see the teacher. Stay within your time slot. If you need more time, ask to schedule a follow-up appointment.
  • Be understanding of the teacher when he glances at the clock. As I’ve noted in the last two guidelines, this day has a schedule that needs to be followed. By that same note, if the teacher asks to wrap up the meeting, understand it’s not meant as offense to you. Staying on time is crucial.
  • It’s okay to leave early. If you and the teacher have covered all topics in 10 minutes but have a 15 minute appointment, it’s fine to leave then. Sure, small talk is nice, but those few minutes could provide a much needed break to get a sip of water or run to the restroom.
  • Start with the most important issues. Do you have a topic you want to have covered? Be sure to mention it at the beginning, so you aren’t trying to fit it into the last 30 seconds or skipping it entirely. The teacher probably has her own set of topics but will be glad to add yours also.

Make the most of this opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher. If you follow these guidelines, you are sure to be off to a good start!

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