Each November, teacher-parent conferences are held. They are a joint meeting between parents and their child’s teacher to find out how the child is doing academically, socially and behaviorally. I remember my children’s conferences well. First, we would wait in the chair outside of my child’s classroom for our turn. The teacher would then welcome my husband and me and tell us we have 20 minutes to discuss our child. We would sit there quietly listening to the teacher speak about how our child was doing and what we could do to help her do better. We would ask a few questions. However, when we got home, we always thought about all the items we should have asked. This article will give you some tips to prepare for your child’s conference. Danbury Public Schools hold their conferences for elementary and middle schools from November 1-4. If you didn’t sign-up during open house, email your child’s teacher or the school secretary for an appointment.
To have a productive conference, prepare ahead of time. Make a list of questions you have for the teacher. How is my child doing academically, socially and behaviorally? Review your child’s work over the past few weeks for areas that concern you and your child. Ask how your child does during the day. Does your child become easily frustrated and is he making friends? Feel free to share with the teacher any concerns you have, any changes happening at home and medical concerns. The nurse is always your best person to talk to about medical concerns.
You know your child’s strengths and you have goals in mind for your child. Feel free to share these with your child’s teacher. Explain what your child is like at home and share your child’s interests. The teacher will review your child’s latest tests by providing some data from them and pointing to areas in which your child can do better. Ask questions about what the teacher’s expectation is of your child if she doesn’t understand the homework or how you can help best prepare your child for a test.
Ask the teacher about the best way to become engaged with your child’s learning. There are many opportunities at each school to become engaged in activities. Ask about upcoming parent educational opportunities in areas such as math, science or language arts to learn how your child is learning concepts from these topics or other education for parents, such as ESL or Supporting School Success. Inquire about the best way to reach the teacher. Many teachers have instituted DoJo or Remind. Both are sent directly to your cellphone to update you on class activities.
As always, a relaxed conversation between you and the teacher will benefit your child the most by both of you learning about supporting your child’s education. Remember you are your child’s first teacher!! Connecting with your child’s teacher early during the year is the best way to be engaged in your child’s learning and it will be remembered throughout your child’s successful life.
For this year only, there will be no interim reports sent home the last week of Oct. in the elementary schools as parent-student conferences will be held the next week.
Anne E. Mead, M. Ed., is the administrator for the Early Childhood Education and Extended Learning Programs of the Danbury Public Schools. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact her at 203-830-6508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.