children, education, schools

How to Ace a Parent-Teacher Conference

(Mom Logic) Educator and Mother of three gives us Cliffs Notes on how to make the grade.

Most parents hate it. Teachers dread it. Why are parent/teacher conferences so uncomfortable? Teachers complain that parents are unprepared and talk about nothing. Parents complain they feel rushed. Lucille Kurtz, a Mother of three and teacher for more than 25 years, has some tips for us. She knows what it’s like to be on both sides of the desk.

1. Do your homework. Come prepared with questions and concerns, and be specific. General questions will get you general answers. Also, try and ask about your child’s curriculum if you’re not clear. It helps to know what is expected of them.

2. Be courteous. Most parent-teacher conferences are by appointment, and other parents are scheduled before and after you. Stick to your time, and if for some reason you think you may need more, schedule it in advance.

3. Keep an open mind. As a parent, it’s easy to become defensive when someone, anyone, criticizes your child. Remember, the teacher is there to help, so hear them out. Ask for suggestions that will help rectify whatever the situation, whether it pertains to academics or behavior.

4. Don’t wait for a parent-teacher conference. If you have concerns about your child, contact the teacher immediately and set up a time to meet. Most issues are better addressed right away. And remember, contact the teacher first, don’t go straight to the principal. Then, if you’re unsatisfied with the results, include the principal.

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