Parent-teacher conferences take place on scheduled conference days throughout
the year and at other times as determined by parents and teachers.
How to Prepare for Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parents can write questions about their child's learning experiences such as:
- What skills and knowledge will my child be expected to master this year,
especially in key subjects such as reading, mathematics, science, history
- How will my child be evaluated? What kind of information do you use to
evaluate students and how are grades determined in your classroom?
- What can I do at home to complement what is happening in the classroom?
How can I support teachers' efforts in implementing higher academic
- How do you accommodate differences in learning? What if my child is a
slow learner and falls behind, or is a fast learner and is bored?
Many times, however, parents will be asked to attend a conference because
there are issues about their child's performance that must be addressed. Parents
can then work with teachers to resolve these issues. Specifically, as a parent
- Identify what will help. Ask the teacher what strategies have been used
to address the issue. Together, the parent and teacher can devise an
effective solution to the learning problem.
- Make a plan. Ask the teacher what you can specifically do to help the
child at home. With the teacher, list 3 or 3 concrete actions you and your
child can do every day.
- Schedule a follow-up conference. It is always a good idea to plan a
follow-up meeting and check on how the plan and targeted strategies are
working. Generally, 3 or 4 weeks is enough time between meetings to allow
for progress. Waiting until the next reporting period may be
- Other things to keep in mind include being on time for your meeting and
not exceeding the amount of time that has been set aside, usually about 40
minutes. Try to select a meeting time that is good for you and the teacher,
especially if you are a working parent and cannot meet during regular hours.
- If your spouse can't attend the conference with you, ask for his or her
concerns and questions.
- Finally, ask your child's school for support, or consult a parent
liaison or specialist for special accommodations such as interpreter