tips for maximizing parent/teacher conferences

When it comes to parent/teacher conferences, it’s best to have some questions ready to ask so that you can maximize the one-on-one time with your child’s teacher. As a parent you may have a list of questions ready in your mind and once the meeting starts, you forget what you wanted to ask.

Some teachers readily provide all the information that you need, and others may need prompting, so it’s a good idea to know what you want to ask in advance.

These are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • What are my child’s strengths?
  • How does my child perform in specific subjects (math, science, etc.)?
  • In general, do you have any concerns regarding my child?
  • If you could pick one area for my child to focus on improvement, what would it be?
  • Are there any areas that my child may need extra professional help (tutoring, social skills group, fine or gross motor skills, etc.)?
  • How does my child contribute to the class as a whole?
  • Who does my child work with best?
  • Is my child willing to ask for help if needed?
  • What is your philosophy regarding classroom discipline?
  • What is your philosophy on rewarding students for hard work, good behavior, grades, etc.?
  • What do you suggest I do at home if my child is struggling with homework or a project?
  • Does my child respond better or worse to certain types of teaching?
  • Does my child respond better or worse to certain subjects?
  • Is there something that you need us to work on at home, after school, or during the winter/summer break?
  • How can we support our child best at home?

This is also a great time to tell your child’s teacher more about them:

  • Can I tell you a bit about what’s going on with my child at home?

Follow up questions – At the end of the conference, you may want to ask questions to keep the conversation going and stay an active part of your child’s academic success:

  • When can we follow up on my child’s progress?
  • Should we have a meeting with other faculty (academic counselors, gifted program teachers, special education teachers, etc.)?