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Questions to Ask at Parent Teacher Night: Back to School Edition

Well by now we are all officially BACK TO SCHOOL-which means we are all settling into familiar routines. Get the kids ready to go back to school, do the shopping, buy the first day of school outfit, try to get them to go to bed early..and on an on. Another yearly event that all parents have to prepare for if parent teacher conferences. I found a great article that kind of sums it all up (courtesy of sylvan source):

Ready for another checkup? Only this checkup isn’t at the doctor’s office, it’s at your child’s school.

It’s parent teacher conference time.

Did you know that parental involvement is a strong predictor of academic success? Teachers want you to attend conferences and be involved in your children’s school lives. This is an exciting opportunity for both you and the teacher.

To make the most of this opportunity, here are ten important questions to ask during a parent teacher conference. The goal is that by asking these questions, you will get a better understanding of how your child is doing in school and the values and beliefs of your child’s teacher, which will both be extremely valuable as the school year continues.

Questions to Ask During Parent Teacher Conferences

1. How do you best prefer to communicate with me? (Email? Phone? Text? Notes?)

2. What do you see as my child’s strengths?

3. What do you think are the academic challenges for my child?

4. What would you do if my child were struggling academically with something?

5. How is my child doing socially?

6. How do you support kids in their social development? For example, how do you address challenges that happen at recess?

7. Is my child on grade level for reading? What about math, science and writing?

8. How does the school handle standardized testing and prep for those tests?

9. Can we talk more about your homework policy and how my child is doing with homework?

10. What can I do at home to support what you’re doing in the classroom?

If you are concerned about something, start with a positive comment first such as “thank you for taking the time to meet with me today.” Then use an “I message” such as “I’m concerned” to bring up the topic. Also, be sure to tell the teacher what you’re doing at home to solve the problem. That will show your intent to work with the teacher to find the best solution for your child.

Above all, remember to keep your conference friendly and positive. Just like the old adage says, you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Be positive and solution-oriented.

You and your child’s teacher can be a strong team of support for your child. Make this checkup a helpful stepping-stone in a successful parent-school partnership.

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