The parent-teacher conference is a brief glimpse into your child’s world at school. As a working mom, this is your big chance to get the scoop on what your child does during the day while you’re on the job. To help make the most of your parent-teacher meet up, here’s some tips for how to prepare, what to ask while you’re there and how to discuss what you learned with your child.
1. Come prepared. Before the conference sit down with your child and explain that you are meeting with her teacher to see how the school year is going. Ask her how she feels about school and if there is anything she wants you to talk to the teacher about, be it work, social or otherwise. Then, put together a list of questions on the topics you want to discuss. For example, what are my child's strongest and weakest subjects, does my child participate in class and does my child seem happy at school?
2. Listen and learn. When the big day arrives, make it a point to be on time. You’ll want to utilize every minute you’re allotted! Once the teacher is finished discussing your child’s work, dive in with your questions, being sure to ask how you can support your child’s efforts at home. If you can’t cover everything you want, ask if you can schedule another time to meet with the teacher one-on-one; your child’s teacher will appreciate the fact that you are respecting the time constraints (and so will the parents who are patiently waiting for their turn next.)
3. Do a debrief. After your meeting, let your child know what you learned. Some kids may have some anxiety about the conference, so keep your discussion positive, but mention any areas of concern. Be sure to talk to your child about any plans or ideas that came out of the conference and reinforce your commitment to supporting his or her efforts at home.
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