Preparing For Teacher Conferences

Question: It won't be long now until I will be attending my children's conferences. How should I prepare to get all of the essential information I need. Planning Ahead.

Answer: Conferences are very important meetings. It is your chance to get firsthand information about how your children are doing in school. You need to take the time now to write down the questions that you want answered, because conference time is limited and you want the meetings to be productive.

You might not get all of your questions answered, so do prioritize your list. It is also possible that the teachers will address most of the issues that concern you. However, having a list of questions will allow you to check off what has been discussed. And do take notes so that you can remember clearly what the teachers are saying to you. To help you get started on your list, here are some basic questions:

  1. Is my child working at, above, or below grade level in basic academic subjects?
  2. What are my child's special strengths and weaknesses?
  3. Could we go over any achievement, intelligence or aptitude tests that my child has taken in the past year? What do the scores mean?
  4. Does my child need special help in any academic subject? If so, what help can the school provide? How can I help?
  5. Does my child get along well with the other students in the class?
  6. Are there any discipline problems that I should know about? How can they be improved or eliminated?  

Do remember to thank the teacher for the conference and for any recommendations that were given. Also, be sure to arrange for an additional conference if you feel more discussion is necessary.