Must-Read Parent-Teacher Conference Tips

Nov 19, 2013 | Blog, Tips & How Tos

Karen Bantuveris is the founder & CEO of VolunteerSpot, a time and sanity-saving online coordination tool that empowers busy parents, teachers and grassroots community leaders by making it easier get involved. VolunteerSpot’s free signup sheets can be used for organizing anything – classroom volunteers, snack schedules, school fundraisers, sports tournaments, charity fun-runs, Giving Trees and more. Karen lives in Austin, Texas with her daughter and husband. @VolunteerSpot @VSpotMom


These tips were brought to you by the folks at VolunteerSpot, who know that volunteering in the classroom and at school helps both teachers and students succeed. Easy parent-teacher conference scheduling and free online signup sheets by VolunteerSpot do away with “reply-all” email and make it easy for more parents to pitch in and participate at school, teams, Scouts and in the community!

Kids are busy learning their ABCs while parents are enjoying the ‘Back-to-School’ high and transition to regular schedules and routines. One important tip to help your children succeed right from the start is to create a positive relationship with their teachers by preparing for your parent-teacher conferences.

Actively taking the ‘small chair’ for your parent-teacher conferences builds rapport with teachers and sets the stage for future conversations and action items you, your children and teachers can work on together throughout the year.

Make the most of your parent teacher conference with these six tips:

1. Be on Time:

Your parent-teacher conference gives you a window into your child’s learning; however, keep in mind the “window of time” is short. With parent conferences scheduled every 20-30 minutes, set a reminder, an alarm, you name it – but be on time and end on time. TIP: If you absolutely can’t make it face-to-face, talk to your teacher about a technical option. Can you conference over Skype or FaceTime, or schedule a call after work?

2. Be Prepared:

Don’t think of your parent-teacher conference as simply a “show up” situation; truly prepare beforehand. Think about what questions and concerns you have for the teacher about your child’s learning style, performance, friends and classroom environment.

3. Embrace Feedback:

Be ready to hear about your child’s strengths and areas of improvement. If the teacher doesn’t get specific on both fronts, ASK for examples of what your child does well and what they can work on. Have a wrap-up session at home sharing insights with your child and asking for his or her feedback as well.

4. Bring it Home:

Ask for suggestions and recommendations about how you can support your child’s learning: Are there creative ways to encourage your child’s reading at home? Can you formulate a more effective homework system for your child? What math apps or educational websites does the teacher recommend?

5. Participate:

Parent involvement is a key factor in student success. Ask how you can better support homework and your child’s learning.  Explore opportunities for volunteering at school and ask how you can help out, whether in the classroom or at home. Tip: Can’t make it into school to help, volunteer to coordinate classroom helpers from your computer using VolunteerSpot’s free and easy online sign up sheets and scheduler.

6. Say Thank You:

Convey sincere appreciation to your teacher for his or her time and hard work with your child.

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