Once the school year gets into full swing, parents and teachers at some point will meet for a one-on-one conference. Whether it is a regularly scheduled event for the entire grade or a specific issue arises, officials at the National Education Association suggest the following tips for meeting with your child’s teacher:
- Schedule a meeting rather than just showing up. By doing so, you will be sure to get all the time and attention you need. Make a call, write a note, or send an email to request a meeting.
- Talk to your child. Find out what subjects he or she likes the best and the least. Ask if there’s anything your child would like you to discuss with the teacher.
- Make a list of topics for the meeting. Don’t limit the conversation to schoolwork and behavior. Use this opportunity to talk about your child’s home life, personality, concerns, habits and hobbies, and other topics that may provide insight for the teacher.
- As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else. Share your knowledge of your child’s strengths and weaknesses to help teachers adapt lessons to match your child’s interests and learning style.
- Begin on a positive note. When you talk to the teacher, compliment her on something she’s done. “I appreciate your taking time after class to help Johnny with his reading. It’s really making a difference, and I’m working with him at home on his reading too.”
- If there is a problem, avoid angry or apologetic reactions. Listen carefully and develop solutions with the teacher.
Remember, regular communication and partnerships with teachers is essential to your child’s education, NEA officials say. This partnership helps ensure that your student receives the support that he or she needs to get the best education possible.