Preparing for a parent-teacher conference

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One of the best ways that you can support your child is by attending Parent-Teacher conferences. In these meetings, you will not only learn about their academic progress, you will also know their strengths, how they communicate with others, their attitude to learning, and other important information about their development. Teachers usually allow 10-15 minutes per session, but you can get a lot out of it when you come prepared. Watch this video from settlement.org to know what to expect:

Parent Teacher Interviews (Elementary school), Settlement.org

Five steps to prepare for a parent interview or parent-teacher conference:

  1. Make sure that the appointment schedule works for you

  2. The school usually sends a letter a week in advance to inform you about the meeting. Don’t be afraid to inform the teacher if you cannot make it on that day or time. You should set a more convenient schedule rather than being late for the meeting or not getting there at all. This deserves your full attention and focus.

  3. Prepare some questions

  4. This is the best time to raise your concerns regarding your child’s education. Do you feel that they are not getting enough homework? Not enough PE/gym time? Read the report card and compare it to previous reports. Are there things you don’t understand about how your child is evaluated? You should also ask your children if they have some concerns they wish to raise. If you are not confident about your language skills, you can ask a friend to go with you or ask the teacher in advance if the school has translation services.

  5. Come on time

  6. Remember that the teacher has to meet other parents too and they are running on a tight schedule. They might not be able to accommodate you if you come in late.

  7. Listen

  8. Pay attention and listen. Let the teacher finish reporting about your child. You will be given the opportunity to ask your questions later. However, inform them politely if they are speaking too fast and you don’t understand. Don’t forget to ask for suggestions about how your child can improve. You can also take down notes for your reference later.

  9. Thank the teachers

  10. Showing your support and appreciation are crucial ingredients to building a good relationship with your child’s teachers. After all, they are your partners in raising your child. Always show your gratitude for the great job that they do in mentoring your child.

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Community Resources

Settlement.org has an article on Parent-Teacher interviews that you can download in different languages.

Practice useful phrases using Two Minute English’s English Conversation lesson on Parent-Teacher meetings:

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Quiz

For the following sentences, chose the correct word form.

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