(Long Island, N.Y.) Remember when you were a kid and you’d turn pale when it was time for your parents to go in for Parent-Teacher conference? (Gulp. Please Miss Jenkins, don’t mention that gum incident.) Well, now that things have come full circle and you’re not the one being “talked” about–you still can feel like you’re in the hot seat–even if it is three sizes too small.
Once again, I asked Carmella Van Vleet, author of How to Handle School Snafus for her expert advice on what to say, what to do and what to expect. She gave me 5 tips to make the meeting go great.
- Tip 1. Talk to your child before you go. Ask him what part of the day is his favorite or if he’s having trouble in any subject. See if there’s anything he would like you to bring up with the teacher.
- Tip 2. Be prepared. Look over your child’s report card or progress report and go through his or her schoolwork so there are no surprises about performance.
- Tip 3. Be on time. (The teacher probably has a full schedule.) You may or may not want to include your child but leave siblings at home. Make sure there is some place your child can safely go (like the library) so you can speak with the teacher privately if necessary.
- Tip 4. Greet the teacher warmly and ask questions. And then, listen with an open mind. Ask about your child’s day. Who does she play with at recess? Does she stay on task or daydream? Is she working to your potential? Ask the teacher if he or she has any specific concerns about your child’s performance or social development.
- Tip 5. Afterwards, thank the teacher and ask if he or she feels another conference is needed. When you get home, share what you learned with your child.
How to Handle School Snafus www.carmellavanvleet.com