Zoodles Blog Learn and Play Every Day

November 12, 2009

8 Tips to Surviving Your Parent Teacher Conference

Filed under: Family Activities,Schools and Learning — Erin @ 7:17 pm

With the end of fall comes parent teacher conferences, and many parents have just experienced, or are nervously anticipating, one of the few chances they have to sit down with their child’s teacher and hear how their child is doing in school.

parent-teacherIn her article “Preparing for the Parent Teacher Conference,”  long time teacher Diane Milne mentions a number of helpful ways to ease your nerves and communicate or understand everything you’ve been wanting to know about your child in half an hour.  We’ve boiled her thoughts down into 8 basic tips:

  1. Write your questions down beforehand, in prioritized order.
  2. Touch not only on your child’s academic performance at school, but their social well being.
  3. Ask how you can help your child do better in school.
  4. Be honest when the teacher asks you questions in return.
  5. Even when you disagree, keep an even temper and do not accuse or insult the teacher.
  6. Work towards a solution that involves both of you.
  7. Be willing to share what is going on in your child’s home life that may affect his time at school.
  8. End on a note that makes the teacher feel supported and appreciated.

Supporting your child’s education extends beyond his or her teacher – there are also a number of ways to support your child by supporting their school, their local community, and other parents.  Read what the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) suggests as 100 Ways to Help Your Child and School Succeed.

Still left in the dark?

Of course, no matter how effective your parent teacher conference is, half an hour with the person who spends 30 hours a week with your child will never feel like enough.  No matter how well intending, busy parents plus busy teachers make for a *very busy* combination.   The result?  You start to feel left in the dark.  Increasingly disconnected from what your child can or can’t do, what they like, or what they’re good at.  You start to battle this constant worry that you’re not doing enough, this guilt that you’re not there every time your child learns something new.

It was this feeling of helplessness, and our desire to empower parents to be part of their child’s development, that drove us to create many of the Parental Features on Zoodles.

Our hope is that the weekly email updates, the vibrant graphs and pictures, and all the powerful controls we afford you, will help you feel more like a participant in your child’s learning journey.  Whether in school or at play, your child is growing every day, and we don’t want any parent to feel like they might be missing out.

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