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It is the parent-teacher conference season, and along with that comes a lot of anxiety and questions for both parents and students! Today I will address some common questions that I get from parents so you can stop wondering and start taking an active role in the parent-teacher conferences day!
Common Question: Do I still need to go to Parent-Conferences if I know my kid has good grades in all their classes?
Answer: No, you don't have to go to the conferences; however, I suggest that you send an email to all the teachers and verify that there aren't any other outstanding issues that should be discussed. School is more than just grades. Parent-Teacher conferences are an excellent time to talk about behavior problems, attendance issues, social concerns, and next grade level preparation. Make sure that the teacher doesn't have anything that they want to discuss with you.
Common Question: I know my child has some low grades and/or some behavioral concerns. Is there anything I should do before conferences to prepare for talking to the teacher(s)?
Answer: Contact the teacher via email and voice your concerns. Ask the teacher(s) if they want to meet you during conferences or at a different time to discuss the issues. The reason you want to do this is, conferences are very regimented. Usually, each family is only allowed a specific amount of time with the teacher to keep the day moving along. If the teacher thinks you will need extra time, then this must be prepared before the conference day. Perhaps the teacher can give you two conference slots or other arrangements can be made to provide you with the time you need to talk about your concerns.
Also, you may want to request an administrator, counselor or another specific teacher to be in attendance at the conference. This should be scheduled ahead of time.
Lastly, bring in all the documentation that the teacher may need. IEP, doctor recommendations, a list of concerns you see at home, 504 plans, behavioral plans, etc
Common Question: What if I am at the conference, and I find out that my child has some academic and/or behavioral concerns I didn't know about? What should I do?
Picture it…. A different day when I was a working full-time teacher….. I have a conference with a parent. They storm in the room and sit with arms crossed and obviously agitated. They begin to tell me how disappointed they are that their kid has a bad grade and how come they didn’t know about this sooner!
As a teacher, the parent scenario I mentioned above is very frustrating. I didn’t even know the parent wasn’t getting your emails. I had no idea that they were mad AND from the beginning- they thought I was the bad guy. It is possible that your child acts differently at school than at home, so keep an open mind whe