Parent Teacher conference season is upon us. This is a wonderful opportunity to see if the year is off to a strong start or if attention needs to be redirected. Having a one-on-one visit with your student's teacher allows improvement to take shape earlier in the year than in the homestretch when the needle is harder to move.
Please make every effort to meet with the teacher on site as face to face interactions generally bring more clarity, student work samples will likely be on hand, and representative standards of expectations may be within reach so you can monitor work from home. If getting to campus is not possible, find a time where the teacher can do a phone call instead.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your conference before, during and after the visit:
Before the conference
- Talk to your child about how they think they are currently performing (do they participate, raise their hand, and ask questions when they are confused?)
- Prepare a list of topics with your student you would like clarification on so you can bridge learning
- Take note of changes in work habits or attitudes to share with teacher (avoidance of concepts, outbursts, confusion, frustration or lack of perseverance in problem solving)
During the conference
- Stay focused on your biggest goals so precious time isn't lost on excessive pleasantries or less important topics since the teacher has a packed schedule of parents
- Ask to see work samples of your student
- Ask to see a work sample considered the standard so you can help your student rise to the challenge
- End the meeting on time. Other parents will probably have a conference after yours
- Know the teacher is a partner and you both are invested in your student's success, ask for tips for continuity sake
- Emotions can get the best of everyone in a tense situation, but stay calm during the conference
- If your child receives special services be sure to ask about their performance there as well
- Thank the teacher! They work very hard this week to update all their students’ families on their progress
After the conference
- Your student is eager to hear about the conference, be sure to find a calm time to go over what was discussed so action items can be implemented immediately
- Start off sharing highlights about the wonderful things they have exhibited in class so far this year
- Inform your student of any changes that may be coming to help them be more successful in the classroom (new seating, visiting the teacher table, after school support)
- Continue to communicate with the teacher to make sure the plan is in motion and assess the progress so further changes can be implemented or discontinue the special effort if no longer necessary.
If your student's teacher has any information about their performance in the classroom you would like to pass along to us, we are happy to supplement their classwork at Mathnasium. A class syllabus, sample classwork, and other tidbits from teachers can be added to your student's learning plan. Your student's teacher is also more than welcome to contact us directly at LakelandHighlands@Mathnasium.com.
If your student isn't currently enrolled at Mathnasium and you find your student is in need of math support, visit our Learning Center! Schedule a No Risk Assessment to see what areas we could focus on to make them feel confident and secure in their math education.