What you need to know at Parent-Teacher Conferences

The parent-teacher conference can be one of the most productive opportunities to help your child succeed in school.


What you need to know at Parent-Teacher Conferences

Do Parent Teacher Conferences Cause You Anxiety?

By Dana Segur

 Don’t worry – you can be ready!

Do you get anxious just thinking about attending your child’s teacher-parent conference?  What will the teacher say about your child?   Do you hope you make a good impression?

Don’t be nervous.  Be prepared.  This can be one of the most productive opportunities you have to help your child succeed in school .     

Let your child’s teacher know your child’s history.  If they’ve struggled in academics, or making friends, or behavior issues, this is the time for honesty. The more information you give the teacher, the better able they can help your child throughout the year.

Don’t make excuses for your child.  Assure the teacher you are taking concerns for your child seriously and will take appropriate measures at home to correct any issues.  

Have a weekly communication system established where progress or improvement needed can be noted weekly, if necessary. If tutoring is recommended,  ask the teacher for her suggestions, or a list of names..  

If behavior is an issue, check out books at the library that deal with behavior management, or even attend workshops or classes that help parents shape their child’s behavior. Behavior can be a serious block to your child’s progress if left unchecked.

Have a set homework time for your child to do homework each night.  it should be a short time after school.  Provide a snack.  Don’t wait until bedtime to start on the homework, after birthday parties, or football games.  Your child needs to have mental energy to do their best.

Leave a cell phone number with the teacher where you can be reached at all times.  Encourage him/her to call you for any reason.

Let the teacher know that you are on the same team.  Don’t let your child manipulate you.  

Questions to Ask During Parent-Teacher Conference:

  1.   Is my child applying herself and working up to her potential?
  2.   Is my child turning in homework assignments?
  3.   Is my child attentive in class, distracted,  and/or disruptive?
  4.   Does my child seem to have friends, or seem to be isolated?
  5.  Are there activities that the teacher thinks you should encourage your child to get involved in at school?
  6.  Is my child functioning at grade level, below grade level, or above grade level in any particular area?

7.  Is there anything the teacher has noticed about  which you should be concerned?

Usually, only 15 to 20 minutes is allotted for each parent, so make sure you are prepared!

Good luck on a new school year. Working together with your child’s teacher, you can help your child make real progress.


Dana Segur tutors children through her own service Kids with Class.

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