Early Education     K-12     Education Guide    

Meet the teacher

Making the Most of Parent/Teacher Conferences

parent teacher conferences in the hudson valley

The purpose of a parent/teacher conference is really to ensure each child has a positive and effective school experience, according to Della Ferreri, a French teacher at Millbrook Middle School and High School. “A parent-teacher conference is an opportunity to discuss the child’s progress and to come together as a team to help the child be successful,” she says. Ferreri offers these tips to parents ahead of parent/teacher conference season:

Before the conference:
- Prepare by talking to your children about school. How do they feel they are doing academically?

- Ask your child to see her assignments. Do you notice any strengths or patterns?

- Come to the conference with an open mind. Children have strengths and weaknesses and it is normal to feel a little nervous knowing there might be a problem area to discuss.

- Write down the questions you want to ask beforehand so you’re less likely to get side tracked and forget your own thoughts.

READ MORE: Tips for dealing with bullies

During the conference:

- Ask your child’s teacher these important questions:

  • How is my child doing in your class academically?
  • How is my child doing in your class socially?
  • What are her strengths?
  • Are there areas my child needs to work on?
  • How much homework should my child be doing?
  • How can I support my child at home to help her be more successful?
  • Are there after-school opportunities for extra help, if needed?

- Jot down notes to help you remember concerns and/or follow-up questions.

- Resist the urge to be defensive or to blame the teacher.You're both on the same team.

- Come up with a plan to work together.

READ MORE: Lunchbox tips for busy parents

After the conference:   

- Put your new plan into action.

- Make sure your child is completing homework and work with her if she has any questions.

- Continue to keep the line of communication open with your child’s teacher.

- Keep in mind that as the year goes along, you may need to sit down with your child’s teacher again to revise your plan.

READ MORE: Read the full story in our October magazine.

Karen Kaufman Orloff is a freelance writer and author of nine books for children, including I Wanna Iguana, I Wanna New Room, and I Wanna Go Home. Her most recent book is Miles of Smiles.