With the flip of the calendar page, we are bombarded with Pumpkin Spice everything as summer turns into fall. October also means the time is quickly approaching for progress reports and teacher conferences.
In many middle and high schools, progress reports are initiated by certain grade thresholds. In most elementary schools, progress reports are distributed to all students. Whether or not your child received progress report, early October is a fantastic time to check in on your child’s academic standing and progress for the first quarter.
In many schools, it is also time to schedule a teacher conference to meet with your child’s teacher (or team of teachers). If you see your child struggling, don’t wait for scheduled conferences to initiate open communication with your child’s teacher. You may need to meet with them sooner than conferences are scheduled. Either way, as your child’s single most powerful advocate, it is important to approach the teacher conference with an open mind, notes with questions, and most importantly, a willingness to truly hear what the teacher is telling you.
Four Tips for Your Child’s Conference
- Be prepared to listen first. The teacher(s) will likely share examples of your child’s work, specific areas your child needs to work on, and behavioral examples.
- Be prepared to ask questions. What are areas you see your child struggling in? Is the amount of homework too much, too little? What are the expectations for child-teacher communication when there is a class question? Do they wish for the child to write them directly with questions or visit during certain times during the day or week? Would your child benefit from one-on-one tutoring?
- Be prepared to write notes on feedback to share specifics with your child.
- Be prepared to take action. What are the next steps? How/when will you reconnect with the teacher on the “action items” from the conference? How can you best support the work of the teacher or team from home?
Prepared, prepared, prepared. As you can see, with a bit of proactive preparedness, you can leave your parent-teacher conference having learned more about what your child does at school each day, the areas they are excelling, and the areas they need additional support.
Handling Bad News
Hearing negative feedback may be uncomfortable; however, it is important to listen carefully and acknowledge that every child has areas they can work to grow.
We Can Help
Tutor A Team has a team of specialized tutors to match your child’s individual learning style, pace, and areas of challenge. We look forward to helping you navigate the first quarter parent-teacher conference with ease and help you build a strong team in support of your child this school year.