10 Things Every Parent Should Know Before Their Parent-Teacher Conference

October 17, 2017

Fall has officially arrived in Texas. You know what that means; parent-teacher conferences all over the metroplex are being scheduled right and left. This is a time to get to know your child’s teacher and what sort of things both academically and socially he or she has planned for your budding learner.

We would never want you to feel unprepared for such a meeting, as most parent-teacher conferences only last between 10 and 20 minutes. That is why we gathered a list of information and tools for you to make the most out of your time with the educator.

Here we go…

1. Go!

Trust us; you don’t want to skip this one. This is some of the most valuable time you will get with your child’s teacher all year. Teachers want to see your child succeed almost as much as you do. It’s absolutely in your child’s best interest for you to hear what their teacher has to say!

2. Do your homework!

Make sure to review your child’s grades and work beforehand so you are in-the-know about the activities in the classroom and can come prepared with any questions.

3. Share information about your child

Communicate with the teacher about your child’s strengths and weaknesses so that he or she can better understand their needs.

4. Want to talk about something specific?

Contact the teacher ahead of time so they are able to gather any necessary materials and have them ready for your meeting.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher to explain

 Any metrics or education jargon you don’t understand? Ask!

6. Ask what’s happening in the class both academically and socially.

This will help you get a feel for your child’s overall experience in the classroom.

7. Listen!

Don’t forget this one! Your teacher has spent countless hours preparing for your meeting and only has a short amount of time to discuss their thoughts with you. He or she most likely has some great insight to bring to the conversation. Hear them out.

8. Ask how you can help

This way the teacher feels like he or she has support outside of the classroom.

9. Discuss next steps

 This way, there is clear communication between you and the teacher on how to proceed and help your child grow.

10. Follow up with your kids after the meeting

Sometimes kids may be anxious about your meeting with their teacher. Will he or she tell you about the time I took the long way back from the bathroom? How about when I forgot my homework last week? It doesn’t hurt to talk with your kids after your conference so they can know where they are doing well in class and what they can work on.

**Bonus**

What do I do if I find out my child has areas needing development?

Don’t panic! If your child is finding some areas a little challenging, there is plenty of time to make progress before any standardized testing, like the STAAR test, begins. If you’re not sure how to help at home or, like most parents, there aren’t enough hours in the day to help, we’re here to support! Explore Horizons has the only tutoring and enrichment centers in DFW that offer STAAR preparation courses for their members. We will be hosting a free STAAR and test prep focused session for parents on November 29th. Click here to learn more, here. You can also contact your nearest center now: https://www.explore-horizons.com/find-a-center/map/

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