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Parent - Teacher Meetings As easy as A-B-C

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Presentation on theme: "Parent - Teacher Meetings As easy as A-B-C"— Presentation transcript:

1 Parent - Teacher Meetings As easy as A-B-C
I’ll never forget those anxious, nail-biting moments when Mom and Dad took off for the parent –teacher conferences. Don’t get me wrong…I was a good student, but I worried anyway. Would I get in trouble for passing notes in history class or forgetting my math homework? Year’s later, as I prepared for my own children’s’ parent-teacher conferences, I realize it’s much more nerve wracking to be the parent than the kid. What if my child isn’t doing as well as I hoped? What if he’s not making friends in class? Will the teacher think I’m a bad parent? If that sounds like you relax! Perhaps, you’ve been asked to attend a regularly scheduled conference with your child’s teacher. Or maybe you’ve received a special note from your child’s teacher asking to see you. In either case, you may be a little nervous. Relax. Teachers don’t want to put parents on the spot. They just like to meet with parents from time to time to discuss how to help students do their best in school. In fact, some teachers may be just as nervous as you. We all get nervous. And we need to remember that we are all here for the same reason- to see children succeed in learning. Today we’re going to share some ideas and questions you can use to make conferences and meetings a positive and productive experience for you and your child.

2 Parent-Teacher Meetings Are:
Essential building blocks for home to school communication. A time for listening, sharing, and working together. An opportunity for teachers to explain your child’s progress, grades, and the grade-level standards. Successful when parents and teachers have two-way conversations about how to help your child succeed. Educating children is a team effort! It takes parents and teachers working together as PARTNERS, and one of the most important parts of this partnership is the parent/teacher conference. Parent/Teacher conferences give you an opportunity to see how things are going at your child’s school and to catch any problems before they get too big to handle. To make the most out of the conference, it is helpful to prepare ahead of time. Many times parents don’t know what to say. What do you think is the most frequently asked question? (How is my child behaving?) Although it is an important question, the teacher will let you know if your child is misbehaving. But more importantly, a student may be well-behaved, but may still be struggling with his or her schoolwork. Also, as you meet with the teacher, remember that you are your child’s first teacher and know your child best. You have invested your life in your child, and even though the teacher is very important, he or she will only be in your child’s life for a short time. Teachers need the help of parents to do the best job possible of educating every child. Parents provide important perspectives and information that can be extremely important and valuable to the teacher. The teacher can in turn, help parents play a more active role in their child’s education.

3 Before the Meeting Write notes to share with the teacher about:
Things in your child’s life you feel are important for the teacher to know (birth of a baby, loss of someone close, etc.). Questions about your child’s progress Your concerns about the school’s programs or activities. Teachers always have certain things they need to “present” to you, and often don’t have enough time to discuss everything the both of you would like to discuss. Most conferences last about 15 minutes and that time goes quickly. If you have the opportunity to talk about all the things you feel are important, that’s wonderful. But in advance, write down one or two questions that are the most important to you. That way, if the time runs out, you at least had time to cover the most important issues. Ask the group to give some examples of questions to ask. Record on chart paper. NOTE: Tell parents that they should discuss with their family what problems should be mentioned and how much should be said.

4 Before the Meeting If other family members can’t attend the meeting with you, ask for their concerns and questions. 3. Ask your child questions, such as: a. What do you like about school? b. What do you dislike about school? c. Is there anything to ask or tell the teacher? (page 4 Before the Meeting) Ask your child what she would like you to discuss at the meeting. One strategy is to say, “I’m going to be meeting with your teacher; what will she tell me?” Your child’s response will give you ideas of what to discuss with the teacher. If your child responds, for example, that the teacher will say she is terrible in math, or that she talks all day long, then you should address these issues in the meeting.

5 During the Meeting Arrive on time. Be aware that the teacher may be behind schedule. Say something nice about the teacher or the classroom. Tell the teacher you have certain things you would like to talk about. Begin with your most important questions. Be confident. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or express your opinion. Remember you and the teacher are equal partners working together for your child’s education. As you talk about your child, don’t be afraid to volunteer your suggestions. After all, you know what works best for your child and the teacher will appreciate your involvement.

6 Ask questions about what your child is learning.
Is my child at grade level with his/her reading, writing, and math? May I see some of my child’s work? What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses in class? What can I do at home to support what my child is learning in school? What expectations do you have for children in your class? If you run out of time but have more to talk about, ask for another meeting at a later date.

7 Test Results Your child’s classroom teacher has access to assessment data on your child. You can ask your child’s teacher to provide you with this information. You can only access a child’s information if you are their parent or guardian. Other student’s data is confidential. If your teacher is unable to access the data for whatever reason during the conference, you can ask that you receive a copy as soon as it becomes available.

8 The Most Important Part of the Meeting
Ask specific questions about what you can to do to help your child. Find out how you can contact the teacher. Find out how the school will communicate with you. Parent - Teacher meetings provide an opportunity to get specific ideas about your child. Also, you might think that two times a year is not enough to find out from your child’s teacher how your son or daughter is doing in school. Find out how you will communicate with the teacher if you have any questions or would like to talk again about your child’s progress. Find out how the school will communicate with you (Thursday folders, weekly newsletters, telephone calls, home visits, etc.). Every school sends home notices and memo’s from time to time. Find out how your school handles communication so you know when to ask your child for information sent from the school. Be aware the information is being sent and look for it.

9 After the Meeting 3. Maintain communications with the teacher.
Talk about the meeting with your child, and share the positive comments made by the teacher. Develop a plan with your child to act upon suggestions from the conference. 3. Maintain communications with the teacher. It is important that children feel that their teacher and parent are working together on their behalf. A good partnership between the home and the school will help make sure that children get the best education possible. Personally, I would recommend only telling what is helpful, focusing as much as possible on the positive aspects. It will get easier to communicate with your child’s teacher as you get to know them better.

10 Start a folder about your child Report cards Samples of work
Notes from the teacher Test scores Make a calendar Mark the next parent-teacher meeting Mark important events Mark parent meetings and social events Organization is a good place to start in being prepared to help your child at home and to communicate with the school. By having notes, memos, report cards, homework samples, or anything you feel is important, at your fingertips, you are more prepared to address each child’s specific educational needs. If you have more than one child in school, it is especially helpful to be organized.

11 in your child’s learning!
Together we will make a difference in your child’s learning! Role play a Parent – Teacher Conference You will need three people to play parts: The parent, the child, and the teacher. You may want to ask for volunteers at the beginning of the session so they can be mentally prepared. You may also choose for all of the participants to role play in groups of 3. Walk through the “Before the Meeting, During the Meeting, and After the Meeting” handouts. Practice using the handouts as a tool for meeting with teachers. Thank the participants for their time and dedication to their children and school. Wish them luck and success in family-school partnerships.

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