child photographer high end cedar hills alpine highlandIs it seriously that time already?  The time to gather your munchkins {or leave them at home} and head out with your hunny {or fly solo} to make the trek to the teachers’ classrooms for Parent/Teacher Conferences.

It is, indeed, that time!  So here are just a few little somethings to help you remember exactly what this process is about, that you’re prepared for what is to come, and that you’re confident enough to engage in the most effective manner with those superheroes who help nurture and guide our little ones {or not so little ones} each day.

{Whew! That was a lot of words!}

In a Nutshell:

“The conference is an information exchange — You bring to the conference… information about your child’s interaction with people outside of school, his home life, and previous experiences that might affect confidence or interest in school.

The teacher brings… information about your child’s interaction with others in school, performance on tests, and knowledge of learning strategies.

Pooling your information gives you both a better picture of your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and lets you develop an effective plan for helping your child succeed.”  {Source: The Learning Community}

 

Before the Conference:

“Talk to your child — Find out which subjects your child likes the best and the least. Ask why. Also, ask if there is anything your child would like you to talk about with the teacher. Help the child understand that you and the teacher are meeting to help him or her.” {Source: PTA.org}

 

During the Conference:

Establish rapport — As an icebreaker, take notice of something that reflects well upon the teacher. For example, thank the teacher for having made thoughtful notes on your child’s homework or for the special attention in helping your child learn to multiply.”  {Source: PTA.org}

“When problems arise:
– Avoid angry or apologetic reactions. Instead, ask for examples.
– Ask what is being done about the problem and what strategies seem to help.
– Develop an action plan that may include steps that parents and teacher will take when the problem [arises].
– Schedule a follow-up conference and decide on the best way to stay in touch (phone, e-mail, or letters sent to the home).”  {Source: PTA.org}

 

After the Conference:

“When discussing the conference with the child afterward, stress the good things that were covered and be direct about problems that were identified. If an action plan is in place, explain to the child what was arranged.  Stay in touch with the teacher to discuss your child’s progress. Express appreciation as progress is made.

Continuing to keep in touch with the teacher, even if things are going well, can play an important role in helping the child do better in school. When a child knows parents and teachers are regularly working together, the child will see that education is a high priority requiring commitment and effort.”   {Source: PTA.org}

Not scary in the least, right?  With just a few simple moments of preparation, this round of conferences will go off without a hitch! {Or at least very nearly hitch-free! *wink*}

What techniques have provided you with the best experiences and outcomes in this regard?  We’d love to hear the knowledge you’ve gained through the years!

 

…the soul made visible…
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