How to prepare for a meeting with your child’s teacher

You can help your child by working together as a team.

By Lina Ashar

Let’s start with the definition of parent teacher meetings. According to Wikipedia, a parent-teacher conference, parent-teacher interview, parent-teacher night or parents’ evening, is a short meeting or conference between the parents and teachers of students to discuss a child’s progress at school and find solutions to academic or behavioural problems if any.

As the definition states, a parent teacher meeting is essentially held so that the teacher can meet the parents personally and share feedback on their child’s performance for a particular period. The teacher shares positive points, areas where parents need to focus on to improve performance, suggestions on the child’s passion and ways to help pursue them.

Most parents fear going for a parent teacher meeting as they feel anxious about their child’s progress and expect the worst. Remember that if you are invited to a conference, it doesn’t mean your child is in trouble! You and the teacher both want the very best for the child. You can help your child by working together as a team.

Here are a few tips parents can follow when going for a parent teacher meeting:

Before the PTA meeting:

Speak to you child about school.

Check with them whether they are enjoying school.

Make a list of things you would like to talk about with the teacher.

Check with your child if there is anything specific they would like the parent to discuss with the teacher.

Also Read: Managing parent and teacher relationships

During the PTA meeting:

Be on time.

Ask the important questions first.

Be a good listener and listen to the feedback the teacher is giving.

Parents should be open to the teacher’s feedback as he or she only has the best intention. Parents should not be on the defensive about their child.

Ask the teacher ways in which they can help their child improve at home.

Always thank the teacher for the efforts they take to help the child learn in the best way possible.

After the PTA meeting:

Speak to your child and share the positive feedback received.

Congratulate them on their achievements.

Share the feedback shared by the teacher.

Share the roadmap you and their teacher has defined for them.

Keep in touch with the teacher occasionally.

At the end of the day, parents should not compare their child’s performance to that of another student. Children learn differently and while some are auditory, others may be visual or kinaesthetic learners; it is important for parents to understand this and teach them accordingly. This will help the kids learn faster and information will be retained for a long time.

(The writer is Founder, Kangaroo Kids Education Limited.)

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