Parent teacher meetings can be scary. Each set of parents has only 10 minutes to discuss their child’s progress with his or her teacher. Hence, it is essential to come prepared for the parent teacher meeting. Here are a few tips to make full use of the parent teacher meeting that will help your child’s progress for the next half of the year.
Be Open to Suggestions
Don’t go for the parent teacher meeting in a defensive stance. While your child may be the apple of your eye, be open to suggestions for improvement in areas, which the teacher raises. After all, both the parents and teachers have the same goal to help your child improve.
Teachers may also be as nervous as you are! Let your child’s teacher know that you are willing to work with him or her. If your child has been telling you how much they love their lessons, compliment them!
Watch the Clock
Teachers often have back-to-back meetings on the same day. With over 30 students in each class, a delay in any session will affect many other parents. Being punctual is crucial. Your session may have to be cut short if you arrive late. It is also important to be mindful of the time limit. If there is an important issue to be discussed, arrange a session with your child’s teacher on another day.
Discuss the Right Topics
The parent teacher meeting is a platform to discuss how best to help your child to improve. While you may raise small concerns, the parent teacher meeting is not the time to voice out major complaints about the school or class. These should be discussed at a separate time.
Focus instead on your child’s behavioural and academic progress. The way your child behaves in school may be different from his or her behaviour at home. For example, your child may be active and confident at home, but quiet in class. You can ask how your child interacts with his or her peers in school. Does he get along well with others? Is he well-behaved and paying attention?
The teacher may bring up the topic of academics themselves. They may mention your child’s strengths and weaknesses in particular areas. If there is a lack of time, they may only focus on weaknesses. You may ask which specific areas your child is struggling in. There are different skills tested in every subject. In English for example, there are composition, comprehension and oral skills. Your child may be weak in only one of these areas but excelling for the rest.
Note Things Down
Write down the teacher’s comments in a notebook or your smartphone. Such practice helps you recall what the discussion was during the meeting. It also enables you to see if you missed anything you would like to discuss.
Get the Teacher’s Contact
Ask the teacher for a way to contact them. If teachers provide you with their phone number, do respect their working hours and avoid calling them at night unless it is urgent.
The parent teacher meeting is the best platform to find out about your child’s progress in school. Being on time and preparing for the short 10 minutes will ensure a fruitful session that helps you, your child and even his teacher. Grab a pen and get ready to jot notes down!