Asking the Right Questions to Create a Collaborative Parent-Teacher Conferences

Asking the Right Questions to Create a Collaborative Parent-Teacher Conferences

Asking the Right Questions to Create a Collaborative Parent-Teacher Conferences

With teacher-parent conferences (TTC) approaching, a time when you know your child’s school will set up a time to talk with both you and the teacher, consider these helpful tips on where to start the conversation.

Three Tips to Focus Parent-Teacher Conferences On Creating a Partnership

By Erin Dorroh

Conversations with teachers are usually about your child and the progress being made. It is easy to get stuck in the routine, however, when you are not sure what you want to say. The holiday break gives you a time to start thinking about how you can ask questions and potentially get your voice heard.

Here are a few suggestions to get started:

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. What the teacher is doing in her classroom is not necessarily something you are directly responsible for. For example, you can’t set up the classroom, can’t feed the kids a homework assignment or be in charge of homework. However, you can be a contributing member of the school community through questions such as:

What resources do you use? If you are not familiar with the school, you can often find information on the school’s website. For example, see www.freshmen.rosdans.org to find community, social services, activities and other links.

If you are not familiar with the school, you can often find information on the school’s website. For example, see www.freshmen.rosdans.org to find community, social services, activities and other links. How the teachers use technology in their classrooms is often exciting to you and your child. Ask your child about using email on their homework or help with assignments.

Ask your child about using email on their homework or help with assignments. Which teacher knows your child best and why? Kids appreciate knowing why others are their best friends or how they are different. Ask if your child’s school has a teacher exchange that she can get a picture of their child’s favorite teacher.

Kids appreciate knowing why others are their best friends or how they are different. Ask if your child’s school has a teacher exchange that she can get a picture of their child’s favorite teacher. What resources would you need to provide for your child’s next test or interview? More test preparation time? A cover letter and essay? Even something as simple as time to design a resume and test it with friends could help you to remember what is important.

More test preparation time? A cover letter and essay? Even something as simple as time to design a resume and test it with friends could help you to remember what is important. What is your child’s timetable for passing the test and getting on the list? Knowing when your child has to be back in school can help to set boundaries in your relationship with your child and also help to set your expectations. Parents, school can get messy when you and the teacher disagree.

If you are single, have the TPC with a family partner or want to know what each parent can expect from your child once the school day ends.

Each conference takes a little different approach, but I find that it is important to continue the conversation around school activities, resources, support networks, future expectations and the weekly schedule. Let the teacher know what your child is most excited about, what questions your child has and what you are hoping to see.

As your conversation with the teacher progresses, try to get more personal. If possible, ask to see or meet the teacher’s family and also do the same for you. I have personally found that engaging the teacher on all sides is very important. This helps when you will not have access to the classroom.

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