Successful Parent-Teacher Interviews – Step One: Preparation
Successful Parent-Teacher Interviews:
The Parent-Teacher Interview. Those four words can raise anxiety levels among both students and parents. However this interview can be highly beneficial to your child’s school year success. By following our key steps to success, parents can make the interview a more informative and rewarding experience.
Parents’ Advance Work
Review your child’s most recent report card, together with past report cards
Report cards can actually tell you a lot more than a first glance may indicate. Take out a highlighter and mark the areas of concern. Look for any trends or common themes that are repeated from the previous report card. Look to see if the same challenges exist or new challenges have developed.
Review your child’s most recent school work
By reviewing the report card first, you can now review your child’s school work with more background information. Is the work organized? Does the work generally look complete and accurate? How is the spelling and grammar? Think about the grades and comments on the report card and check if the school work reflects this view. If you have concerns, write them down and ask the teacher.
Discuss your upcoming parent-teacher interview with your child
Interview your child before the parent-teacher interview! You will be amazed at what you learn! Sometimes our perceptions as a parent are not aligned with our kids. Ask your child:
- What is your teacher going to say about your work?
- What will the 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?
Come with prepared questions
While there is no time limit when it comes to a parent’s love for talking about their children, there is a definite time limit to every parent-teacher interview. The meeting is usually no more than 10 to 15 minutes.
In order to maximize the time, make your questions specific and organize them in order of importance. Here are examples of good questions for a parent-teacher interview:
- Do you have any concerns about my child’s skills level?
- Does my child have difficulty listening to and/or following instructions?
- Does my child have difficulty staying on task?
- Does my child have difficulty organizing notes, work, stories, etc.?
- Does my child have difficultycompleting 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 work areas does my child like best?
- What areas are more difficult for my child?
- What are my child’s learning 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 your class?
- Is there anything about my child’s behaviour or performance that you would like to share?
In our next post, we’ll discuss the second step for a successful parent-teacher interview, making the most of the interview itself.