A parent-teacher conference is an important part of supporting a child's education. They're also great opportunities to learn all of the amazing work your child is doing in class and discuss with teachers about supporting your child if they're having difficulties.
If you're attending your first parent-teacher conference, keep in mind these strategies to get the best one-on-one time to support your child.
Have a list of questions
Teachers have limited time so prepare a list of questions you want to discuss to make things easier. For instance, you can ask what skills your child has mastered, how they're getting along with their peers, or how you can help if they're struggling.
Talk to your child
Talk to your child to see how they feel about their early learning childcare program. Initiate the conversation by asking them what books they read or which kids they're friends with. From there, a child will start to open up more about their day. If you're concerned about something, bring it to the teacher's attention. Having specific examples makes it easier to discuss issues in a professional manner.
Most parents think it is easy to remember everything but it's still better to jot down important points your child's teacher makes and their suggestions. Bring a pen and paper for good measure. Notes are particularly helpful if you're nervous or pressed for time. You can review your notes at a later time as a reference.
Be courteous to other parents
If you run out of time talking to your child's teacher, schedule a follow-up meeting to address concerns that you weren't able to bring up.
Keep communication lines open
At the end of the meeting, ask your child's teacher how to keep in touch. This could be through phone calls, emails, or visits. By keeping communication lines open, you and your child's teacher will be well informed when there are changes at home or at school or follow up on your child's progress.
Let your child know
Share with your child what you learned about their achievements and behaviour. Let them know what your favourite aspects of the classroom were or what you liked about their teacher. This allows your child to have a better understanding of what's expected of them at school and to see a united front between you and their teachers.
Attending your first parent-teacher conference might seem nerve-wracking but keeping these tips in mind will make it a positive experience for everyone! 3 Bees Early Learning Centre is a child care centre in Oakleigh, focusing on helping children learn and develop through an active partnership with parents. For questions about our early learning childcare program, please call us at 03 9504 3668.