5 QUESTIONS TEACHERS WANT PARENTS TO ASK FOR THE NEXT PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCE
Parent-teacher conferences are usually the most common, if not the only form of direct communication between parents and teachers. This, coupled with the limited timing of each session, makes the meeting a crucial one to plan to understand more about your child in school.
Parents might not realize it but these conferences can grant you with much-needed insights into your child's learning style, interactions with others, growth opportunities, and even the teaching styles your child is being exposed to in school.
They are also designed to be a dialogue wherein parents can contribute insights and advice to teachers if they feel an academic opportunity is being missed.
This is why it is important to not be overly focused on asking about your child’s grades, especially since you can gauge so from the report cards.
It is equally important to find out about his social life, his coping abilities, and so on as well.
When parents take an interest in areas beyond their child’s academics, they can then get a more complete picture of how he is doing in school.
Here are 5 questions you can ask for the next parent-teacher conference:
HOW IS MY CHILD GETTING ALONG WITH OTHERS IN THE CLASS?
School is not about academics alone. It is also a ground for children to learn and improve their interpersonal relationship skills. This is a good time to find out about this aspect from their teachers, who would have observations from daily class interactions. Is he a team player or does he likes to work alone? How does he react when he receives criticism from others? How does he resolve arguments?
Furthermore, relationship troubles with peers can often affect a child’s true potential and reflect on his academics. It is important to address this early before it spirals out of control if your child is distressed, withdrawn, or depressed in school.
WHAT ARE MY CHILD’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
Teachers spend a great deal of time with your child and will have insights about his personality and character. It will be good for both parties to share and observe the similarities or differences between school and home. You’ll be surprised as to what you can learn! Your child might not be performing in English but he might be an engaging presenter. He might not be a high performer but he might be a good project leader.
Understanding about your child beyond grades can allow both teachers and parents to work together to help nurture areas that the child excels in, as well as to improve on certain weaknesses, both in school and at home.
WHICH LESSONS DOES HE ENJOY THE MOST, WHICH LESSONS THE LEAST?
As parents, it would be beneficial to find out where does your child’s interest and disinterest lie. Let’s say your child is really engaged during chemistry lessons, parents can start nurturing the interest in chemistry at an early age. Your child would love the deepen exposure he gets to receive and it would be of value to him next time too.
Knowing your child’s disinterest is equally important as well. Parents can think or look out for unique programs available outside to first get him to become interested in the subject, which can then lead to motivation and performance.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU SCHEDULE HOMEWORK AND TESTS?
It is important to get a grasp of the school curriculum and how the teacher approaches teaching in general. This is so you can have a better understanding of your child’s stress level and workload. As it is really tempting and common to sign up for multiple enrichment and hobby classes for your child, knowing this can help you to manage the classes as well.
If you know that the teacher gives plenty of homework and tests, you might want to ease up on enrichment classes to not overwhelm your child. If the teacher’s approach is not to focus on homework and tests, you can then think of enrichment classes to supplement the current schedule.
HOW CAN WE WORK TOGETHER TO HELP HIM?
After all, teachers are also limited by numbers, time and duties so the responsibility of your child’s education should not entirely fall on the teacher. Parents also play an essential part in the ecosystem and have great influence over their child’s education as well. The most ideal situation would be for both parties to complement each other in their efforts.
Parents can be searching for ways to help support their child’s classroom learning at home. One way would be to ask for recommendations for the best school or online resources that they can use as a family to support their child in the classroom.
When parents and teachers work together, the child succeeds!
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