Parent-Teacher Conference Myth Busters

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A parent-teacher conference is an opportunity to get one-on-one face time with your child’s teacher. It also is a scheduled time to discuss the successes and challenges in the classroom. Read more on why parent-teacher conferences are important, and how to get the most out of the meetings.

Myth: “My child gets good grades in school, so I don’t need to go to a parent-teacher conference.”
Truth: The report card is just a snapshot of how a child is progressing in school; the parent-teacher conference is like a full-color DVD. At a conference, parents can see work samples and hear descriptions of their child’s academic, social, emotional and behavioral development. Parents can share firsthand what they have experienced at home.

Myth: “I just don’t get along with my child’s teacher. He doesn’t like me, and I don’t like him. We don’t have anything to talk about.”
Truth: You have a lot to talk about. No matter how hard teachers and parents work toward partnership, occasional problems are unavoidable. Don’t let problems interfere with your job of being your child’s strongest advocate. Too much is at stake. It is possible for parents and teachers to work together if the focus remains on what’s best for the student and off of personal feelings.

Myth: “My children are in middle and high school. They don’t do conferences anymore.”
Truth: Conferences in middle and high schools are different, but they are still happening. In the upper grades, a conference will usually involve a panel of your child’s teachers instead of being one-on-one. The same important information will be discussed, but you will have the added benefit of getting the collective feedback of your child’s teachers.

Myth: “I have to wait for the school to schedule a parent-teacher conference to discuss what’s happening with my child there.”
Truth: You can have a parent-teacher conference any time of the year. If you have a concern about your child’s performance, you need only to give the teacher or guidance counselor a call to make an appointment. Also note thatconferences don’t always have to bein person. You can discuss issues over the phone or by e-mail.

6 Tips for a Great Parent-Teacher Conference
1. Start the conference on a positive note.

2. Before you arrive, write down the items you want to discuss during the conference.

3. During the conference, take notes so you won’t forget what was said.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Keep asking until you understand.

5. At the end of the conference, recap what was talked about. Pay special attention to those things each of you said you would do, and the deadlines.

6. Commit to listening with an open mind, even if there are problems to discuss.

Remember, you are your child’s best and most important advocate. Don’t miss this chance to connect with the school.

Courtesy of CMS Parent University.