Parent-teacher interviews. Those three words can raise stress levels among both students and parents. But whether you love or loathe parent-teacher interviews, the interview is an important part of taking an active role in your child’s school success.
Making the parent-teacher interview an informative, rewarding, and stress-free experience is not as difficult as it may seem, but it does require a little prep work.
Parents should go into the interview informed. It’s not enough to just show up. You need to arrive with questions that will help them gain better insight into how their child is doing in school.
Review your child’s report cards and recent schoolwork and then compare. Do the homework grades reflect the grades on the report card? If there are discrepancies, you should take note of them, bring examples, and be prepared to discuss your concerns at the interview.
Talk to your child about his or her classroom experience. Ask your child if there is anything that you should know about. What is your teacher going to say about your work? What will your teacher say about you? What do you think you do really well? What do you need to focus on? Do you want me to ask the teacher any specific questions? It’s important to find out what your child thinks the teacher will have to say before you go so you can discuss any issues that arise.
During the meeting remain calm, take notes, and identify goals. Parent-teacher interviews are relatively short as teachers only have a limited amount of time to spend with each family. Taking notes and identifying goals will help you remember any issues that were discussed and provide help in deciding which course of action to take.
Here are some questions to ask:
Do you have any concerns about my child’s skills level?
Does my child have difficulty listening to and/or following instructions, staying on task, organizing notes, work, or completing assignments?
Does my child read with comprehension?
How well does my child read and understand words?
Does my child actively participate in your class?
Does my child hand in assignments on time, complete and at an acceptable level?
What activities does my child like best about school?
What areas are more difficult for my child?
What are my child’s strengths?
Are there things we can do at home to help my child?
Do you have suggestions for me to discuss with my child?
Does my child seem to enjoy coming to school?
Is there anything about my child’s behaviour or performance that you would like to share?
It is important for everybody to agree on the same goals. After all, parents and teachers are partners in a child’s success. Parent-teacher interviews don’t have to be stressful!
Oxford Learning offers programs for children from 3 years old through university. Our goal is to give students the skills they need to be successful in school and in life. Oxford Learning has locations in Halifax and Hammonds Plains and is opening a new location this fall in Bedford. For more information about our programs and services, visit us at www.oxfordlearning.com