First quarter is over and parent teacher conferences are in full-swing. I don’t know about you, but attending a conference can be quite stressful. Following years of limited interactions with my child’s teachers, I’m feeling a bit left in the dark. I know I don’t have to be the knowledgeable one at the conference, but I feel like I am best supporting my child if I have a few questions prepared.
- How does my child interact with their classmates?
As a parent and a professional educator, I highly value my child’s education. However, as an adult, I understand the importance of having strong social skills. It is easy to lose sight of grasping your child’s social development when we get so caught up in the report card. I have made a conscious decision to ask my child’s teacher about their observations of my student’s social interactions. I want to know if my child is being the “bossy one” or is being the “silly one.” I’m not in class with my child, and while I know her very well, being in a classroom environment brings out a different side of child. Ask the hard question with an open mind, so you can best raise a child who interacts well with all different types of people.
2. What questions is my child asking?
The best way to understand your child’s possible confusion or academic insecurities is to know the questions they are asking. And maybe even more revealing…what if the teacher says that your child never asks questions? Regardless of the teacher’s response, this is a great way to figure out how you can better engage with your child and support their school day experience. Grades are just a snapshot of a child’s true understanding of lessons and the world around them. There is so much more to your child than their report card. Knowing their questions is invaluable in understanding and supporting their emotional and academic development.
3. How would you suggest I support my child’s development in ____?
Every conference or graded assignment comes with insight into your child’s weaknesses. While stopping at the grade is easy to do, take a moment to reflect on the information the teacher’s specific feedback provides about your child. Don’t assume that the teacher thinks you know how to help your child. Don’t be embarrassed that you may not actually be helping your child in the best way possible. Instead, assume the teacher has great recommendations for you and ask for them. If you are not the right resource for supporting your child, consider hiring the right tutor.
As a teacher, a mom, and the owner of Advantage Tutoring, we do not just provide individualized academic support. We work closely with teachers, in order to emulate their goals and lessons for your child. We want to be a part of your village, not create additional stressors. Ask the questions, listen well, and seek necessary support.