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Tips for successful parent-teacher conferences

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Before the Meeting

• Ask your child if there is anything he/she would like you to talk about with his teacher. Write down any questions that you want to ask.

• You may want to review or bring your child’s report card.

• Make arrangements in advance so that you can be on time. If possible don’t bring younger children along. (They may be distracting.)

• Think about information that you can share with the teacher that might help them to understand your child better. You can tell them your child’s favorite subjects, special interests, study habits, or any medical conditions or family circumstances that might affect your child’s learning, behavior or attendance. If your child does not feel safe or is bullied you should discuss this with the teacher and the principal.

Questions you might want to ask the teacher at the meeting

• What specific topics will be taught this year?

• What is my child expected to master?

• What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses, and how can we address the weakness together?

• Does my child participate in class?

• How does my child get along with the other children in the class?

• Do you have all his/her homework assignments? How involved should I be with homework, is it assigned every day? How much time should my child spend on homework?

• Will you keep me informed if he/she is falling behind? What tutoring or extra help is available at the school for my child? You can ask if there are support services available if the teacher thinks this might help your child (such as occupational therapy, counseling, etc.)

• What can parents/caretakers do to support schoolwork at home?

• What is the best way for to communicate with your child’s teacher after this meeting?

• If your child is absent, what is the best way to find out about missed class work or homework?

Don’t blame or attack the teacher for his or her observations about your child’s difficulties in class. Instead, ask for strategies to motivate or help your child.

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