Parent-teacher relationships should be formed at the very beginning of school. We recognize that parents are a child’s first teacher. Therefore, information that you share can assist teachers as they plan and support your child. Parent-teacher conferences are effective practices that can support the transition to Pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, Parent-teacher communication is most effective when it is open and takes place regularly. Parents provide teachers insight on how students are transferring information taught to settings outside of school. Teachers provide parents with information on how students are developing academically, socially and emotionally. Together the partnership can positively impact your child’s performance and school experience. Here are some ways that you can take an active role in your child’s education.
Sharing information- Information about your child’s personality, likes, dislikes, hobbies, talents or preferences is important information for teachers. It allows teachers to build a personal relationship with students and breaks down possible barriers that students may have in a new situation. Information about any medical conditions or previously diagnosed issues also allows the teacher to prepare and individualize learning for your child.
Focus on your child -Young children develop in different ways and at different times. Refrain from comparing your child to other children as well as siblings. Focus your attention on the individual needs and work with the teacher to address those needs. With the expertise of the teacher and your support, children will develop and gain the skills needed for success in school.
Attendance is important- Your attendance is critical at conference to discuss your child’s progress. Teachers share important information and examples of student work that are often better able to interpret in person. Arriving on time is also very important. However, we realize that there are times when parents are unable to attend in person. Please work with the teacher to determine alternatives such as a phone conference or other ways that you can stay connected.
Children are listening- If children attend the conference, please ensure that the tone of the meeting is positive and focuses on solutions. Children pay close attention to what adults say or gesture which can impact their future performance. It is important for students to see parents and teachers working together to support their development.
Partner with the teacher- Sometimes teachers may need to share information that may address a particular concern that could need more attention. When that occurs, it is important to listen with an open mind and be willing to collaborate to develop solutions that are in the best interest of your child.
Ask questions- The parent-teacher conference is the perfect time to ask questions about how your child is performing, observations made by the teacher, or about ways that you can support your child. Teachers welcome questions and see it as a great opportunity to partner with the parent.