Parental involvement is crucial in the quality of a child's education, which is why parent-teacher conferences are so important. At these conferences, parents meet with teachers to learn more about how their children are doing in the classroom. These conferences are essential to the education process because they allow parents to be aware of information that is unable to be conveyed through a report card. In addition to grades, parents learn more about their children's strengths and weakness, and also whether they're healthy from social and maturity standpoints. Knowing which questions to ask during a parent-teacher conference is a key step in being involved in your child's education.
What are the skills my child will be expected to learn this year and how is he/she doing so far?
The answer to this question will give parents a good idea of what are the expectations that is expected of their child, as well as how they're measuring up to those expectations. If a child is falling short of those expectations, then it is the parent's responsibility to follow up with how they can help their child meet those expectations at home.
What do you like best about school?
Make the most of your parent-teacher conference by doing some homework beforehand. Ask your child about how they feel about school. Doing so may bring up any issues your child has with the classroom environment. If any issues arises from the the question, then you can bring up that issue with the teacher at the parent-teacher conference.
Is there anything my child needs to work on improving?
Even the best students have areas where they can improve. Ask your child's teacher which skills your child should focus on improving. This will help you support your child's efforts at home and at school, and gives your child a tangible goal to work toward.
How can I best help my child succeed in school?
There's only so much a teacher can do to help your child succeed in the classroom, making support from parents imperative to success. Ask your child's teacher about ways you can help your child excel in school, and then make sure to implement those strategies with your child at home!
Do you feel like there's anything you struggle with at school?
During the parent-teacher conference, make sure to check in with your child and ask if there's anything he feels like he struggles with during class. Teachers aren't always aware of struggles that individual students are having. The conference is a great forum to allow your child to speak up, and also allows the teacher to address the issue in a more personal setting.
How much homework should I expect my child to bring home each night?
Knowing how much homework your child should be bringing home each night is a good way to help your child stay organized with her time and allows you to ensure all homework is being completed on time.
Are there any opportunities to volunteer in the classroom?
If your schedule allows it, volunteering in your child's classroom can be a great way to get some first-hand knowledge of how the classroom operates, the teaching style used, and your child's behavior in class. Most teachers welcome occasional help from parents, but check with the teacher to find out when the best times for volunteering would be.
Is there anything I should know about my child's behavior or performance in the classroom
Teachers generally approach conferences in a way that highlights each child's strengths, while avoiding being too negative. Asking the teacher whether there are any behavioral or performance issues you should be aware of can open the conversation to any potential problems the teacher may be hesitant to bring up.
How do you feel you're doing in school?
If possible, begin the conference by asking your child how they feel they're performing in school, and try to keep him active in the conversation during the conference. This allows your child to feel more involved in the process and may provide some motivation for improvement, where needed.