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How to Prepare for Parent Teacher Interviews

October 31, 2012

November 1 is parent-teacher interview day in School District 72. Below are some tips for how you, as a parent, can prepare for and get the most out of your interview with your child's teacher(s).

Before the meeting with the teacher:
  • Make a list of any general or specific questions you would like to ask your child's teacher(s).
  • Ask your child what he/she would like you to ask and/or tell their teacher.
  • Think about any specific information you will need to let the teacher know. For example, are there any home or family changes that the teacher needs to be sensitive to or any health issues that affect your child.
  • Consider what special things you would like the teacher to know about your child.
During the meeting with the teacher:
  • Make sure that you check up on your child's social interactions at school, as well as their academic progress. Ask the teacher how your child gets along with others and if there is anything in particular that you should know about his/her emotional and social progress. Also, ask about your child's work habits, behaviour, participation, and learning style.
  • Don't hesitate to make notes while the teacher is talking so that you will remember what he/she said once you get home.
  • Ask the teacher about the classroom rules, homework procedures and overall expectations for students.
  • If the teacher raises problems, try not to get angry or defensive. Remember that talking together about problems is the best way to ensure that problems are addressed before they grow bigger. Ask questions, share ideas that have worked in your home and be an active part in planning ways to make things better.
  • Ask the teacher what the most important thing is that you can do at home to support your child's learning.
After the parent-teacher interview:
  • Speak honestly with your child about the discussion you had with their teacher(s). Let him or her know both the positives and any problem areas that were discussed, as well as plans that you and the teacher made to help your child make improvements.
  • Start immediately on any plans for improvement and be consistent. This shows your child that you consider these changes important. It also models for your child how to take on problems and turn them around.
  • Keep in regular contact with your child's teacher(s).