Friday, October 11, 2013

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are right around the corner.  As parents it can be stressful to hear from your child’s teacher anything negative.  Resist the urge to immediately defend your child without knowing the facts.  Remember too that many times kids will skew a situation in their favor.

Here’s some things to remember:

  • Listen to what the teacher’s concerns are.  Take a deep breath and count to ten before responding.  Think before your speak.
  • Your child is special.  BUT so is EVERY child!  Children aren’t perfect and will make all sorts of mistakes so be open to helping the teacher resolve any problem.
  • If your child is struggling with being bullied, having to speak in front of their classmates or they just don’t “get” math be frank with the teacher about your concerns.  Be open to the teacher’s suggestion and work together to find a positive solution.
  • Be an ally.  Working together and presenting a united front will let your child know what behavior is expected from them whether they are at home or at school. 
  • Teachers aren’t babysitters.  Make sure your child knows how to be respectful and make sure they know the consequences for bad behavior
  • Don’t intimidate.  Bullying a teacher does absolutely nothing to help remedy a situation.
  • Help set the tone of the conversation.   Thank the teacher for working with you to help your child through any difficulty.   Include your child in being a part of the solution.
  • If your teacher focuses only on the negative, elicit some positive things about your child.  If they are doing poorly in one subject, discuss how they are excelling in another.   Sometimes it’s just helpful to put things in perspective for both of you.
  • Communicate throughout the year with the teacher, not just during conference time.   A quick email to see how things are going will go a long way in knowing whether your child is struggling with a subject, behaving in an unacceptable manner or that he/she is right on target.  Catching problems early can make the difference between having a good or bad year.  

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