non dual teachers best. As their children’s advocates, parents sometimes need to share information with the teacher to help students get the maximum experience out of their school day. Without this information, teachers may misunderstand behaviors, attitudes and responses. Here are some ideas to think about as you plan for your next parent teacher conference.
1. Prioritize the Information
By prioritizing the information, it allows the teacher to readily access the most important data that will positively affect your child’s school day. Think about the answers to these questions: What is your child’s biggest challenge? What is the root of your child’s difficulty? What are concrete actions you have taken at home that have been beneficial?
2. See the teacher as a teammate.
Listen to the Teacher. You are both trying to help your child. Both of you have information that the other needs to fulfill the goal. When you listen to the teacher, you make them feel heard which continues to build the relationship. You will also get examples of real life situations which can give you material to give them practical ideas. When my daughter does that at home, we find ___________ successful. Work together. Feel confident enough to share your ideas.
3. Have reasonable expectations.
The teacher is there to help your child AND the other twenty seven children in the class. Try to think of ideas the teacher can do to help your child that are not hugely time consuming on a daily basis. Offer to help create systems that facilitate the teacher helping your child (like a homework calendar or a homework notebook format).
4. Be succinct.
Parent Teacher Conferences are short. By staying focused and keeping to the point, you will leave time for the teacher to ask questions and make a plan with you.
5. Offer to send more information.
Since time is so short, leave the teacher with some written materials or website addresses that might shed more light on the situation.
6. Give time to Digest.
People need time to digest new information and try out suggestions. Give the teacher a few weeks to implement some of the new strategies and read the websites. Then send her/him an e-mail to check in.
By keeping these ideas in mind as you head into the parent-teacher conference, you will be prepared, share the most important information and leave the teacher with a better understanding of your child’s reality and how to best help him/her.