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Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences

Each year thousands of Putnam City parents visit their children’s schools for parent-teacher conferences. Parents, teachers, and in some cases students, discuss current levels of skill mastery, talk about academic challenges and share goals and strategies to support student success.

The meetings and good communications between parents and teachers are a good thing, as research is clear that parent involvement in schools has a significant effect on a child’s learning, attitude about school and aspirations. Putnam City educators offer these tips to make sure conference time with teachers is put to best use:

Before the Conference

  • Talk to your children before the conference. Ask your child what areas they feel they are being successful in and what subjects are the most difficult. Find out what subjects they like best and least, and why. Ask your children if there is anything they would like you to talk about with their teachers.
  •  Write down some questions that you want to discuss, such as:
       - How is my child doing in class?
       - Does my child follow directions and use time well?
       - How are my child’s work habits?
       - How much time should I expect my child to spend on homework each night?
       - What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses at school?
       - How does my child get along with other children?
       - Is my child respectful of adults at school?
       - What can I do at home to support what you are doing in the classroom?

At the Conference

  • Arrive on time and stay only for the scheduled time of the appointment.
  • Tell the teacher what you feel is important for him or her to know about your child’s personality, habits, concerns and interests.
  • What happens at home affects how your child does in school. Let the teacher know about such key events as a separation or divorce, family illness, new baby or death of a loved one. It’s not necessary to share details. Just a mention will help the teacher be sensitive to your child’s needs.
  • Discuss any remarks your child has made concerning situations at school that he especially likes or dislikes.
  • If your child needs additional help, ask for suggestions from the teacher.
  • Summarize your understanding of your child’s progress and the teacher’s comments to make sure you and the teacher are in full agreement.
  • If you need more time to cover everything you believe needs to be covered, ask for a future appointment.

After the Conference

  • If you think of additional questions after the conference, e-mail or send a note to the teacher. Stay in touch about any concerns.
  • Use the conference as a chance to compliment your child and to show your interest in school.
  • Talk with your child, if he or she was not part of the conference, about what was covered during the conference. Focus on the positive aspects of your child’s report and positive comments made by the teacher
  • Talk to your child about suggestions you and the teacher have about how he or she can do even better in school.