The best way to ensure your child's success in school is to have good communication with the teacher. A parent-teacher conference is the ideal way to find out what is going well at school and where improvement is needed.
Make an appointment with your child's teacher at a time that is convenient so you will not feel rushed or distracted. Ask your child if there is anything he wants you to discuss with his teacher or anything he wants you to know beforehand. This will help you focus your questions and reduce the possibility of any unpleasant surprises. Plus, you can communicate to the teacher anything that's on your child's mind. Emphasize to him the positive focus of the meeting so he does not become overly worried about it.
Here are some key questions to ask your child's teacher:
- What information and skills will my child learn this year and what are the standards that he will need to meet?
- How do you handle different learning abilities and styles?
- What seems to be him favorite subjects? His strengths and weaknesses?
- Does he participate in class? Try hard?
- How are classes structured? Is he assigned to a group? How is the group determined?
- Are evaluations and grades based on tests, homework, participation, or another means?
- If my child falls behind, how will you handle it?
- How does my child get along with other students in the classroom?
- What kind of support should I get giving him at home? How can I learn about homework assignments?
- Have you noticed any worrisome behavior?
- If there is a problem, when, where, and what is happening and how can it be fixed?
After your conference, tell your child what was discussed (if appropriate). If there was a problem, keep in touch with the teacher regularly so you can monitor your child's progress. As your child improves in his weaker areas, make sure you praise his efforts.
Remember that a good parent-teacher relationship will help ensure your child's success in school.