If you have children in an Ontario school, you may soon be receiving their fall term progress reports. The parent-teacher interview following each reporting period is the perfect opportunity for parents to voice concerns and have questions answered. As parent-teacher interviews are a place to both give and receive information, coming prepared will ensure a valuable and positive experience for all involved. Read over the tips below for ideas on how to make your parent-teacher interview a success!
Before the Interview:
o Look over your child’s report card, notes, and assignments, and create a list of questions to ask your child’s teacher(s). Look for comments that are common across subjects, or suggestions that are being repeated from the last report card. By coming prepared with questions, you will gain valuable information that can help you facilitate your child’s work both at home and at school. For example, you might ask your child’s teacher: “What can I do at home to support my child in developing reading fluency?” Or, “Is my child coming to class each day prepared to learn?”
o You can also gather information before the interview from your child’s resource teacher or learning specialist. By communicating with everyone involved in your child’s education, you can work as a team to help him or her find success.
o Ask if your child has any questions, concerns or goals to discuss. Write them down together so that you both feel you are benefiting from the interview.
During the Interview:
o Make the most of your allotted time by using the questions that you wrote down. By sticking to a list and not getting off track, you will be able to use your time more wisely.
o Keep the tone positive. The meeting should be a celebration of your child’s accomplishments over the term as well as an opportunity to discuss areas of potential growth. Maintaining a collaborative relationship with your child’s teachers is important for continued success.
o Allow your child time to speak during the interview in order to feel involved, rather than talked about.
o Leave with a concrete list of things that your child can work on either alone, or with your help. Write down any resources or strategies that the teacher suggested so that you have them for later reference.
After the Interview:
o Discuss the teacher’s comments and recommendations with your child and decide together how to implement them.
o Look into resources and support programs that can help you target your child’s specific learning needs.
Most parent-teacher interviews are extremely short; therefore coming prepared and using the tips above will enable you to use your time wisely.
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