Without parental involvement, parent teacher conferences are a missed opportunity. Conferences are the time to learn more about your child's learning style, relationship with others, what he'll be learning and even about the teacher's teaching style. If you sit back and listen, you'll still learn about your child, but perhaps miss some key things you should know. There are a number of questions you can ask at a parent teacher conference to elicit information and help to make your child's year more successful.
General Questions to Ask at Parent Teacher Conferences:
- What skills are being addressed right now and how does that tie in to the overall goal for the year?
- How is my child doing keeping up in class?
- How is my child getting along with other children?
- Could you outline the schedule of a typical day/class period for me?
- What kinds of testing should I expect my child to participate in this year?
- Does this testing have an impact on his academic future or how he is graded?
- What can I do at home to reinforce what he is learning?
- What type of discipline plan do you use in the classroom?
- What are your views on homework and what is your homework policy?
Questions to Ask if Your Child Isn't Challenged:
- What types of things is my child doing to keep challenged?
- Does the school have a gifted & talented program?
- What type of testing is required to see if my child qualifies?
- Can you recommend some enrichment activities to support her learning?
- What opportunities does my child have for independent, student-led learning?
Questions to Ask if Your Child is Struggling Academically:
- At what level is my child performing in his academic subjects?
- What types of supports are available to help him keep up with his grade-level peers?
- Do you have any insight as to what may be causing his difficulties?
- Do you think a referral for Special Education evaluation is appropriate?
Questions to Ask if You (or Your Child) Don't Get Along With the Teacher:
- How is my child's attitude in the classroom? Is she respectful and following rules and expectations?
- Do you feel that you and my child are having trouble working well together?
- Can we discuss why we seem to have trouble working smoothly together?
- What do you think you and I (or you and my child) can do to make this year successful?
- I'd like to share with you my concerns about (what I see, your teachng style, etc.) in your classroom.
Questions to Ask if Your Child is Having Trouble With Peers:
- Does my child interact with other children?
- Do you see that she has any friends?
- Is she having trouble with specific groups of children?
- Do you feel she is being bullied?
- Can you tell me what your thoughts are about her difficulties with socialization?
- Is there a friendship/peer skills group in which she can participate?
- What can/are you doing to make it easier for her to socialize with other kids?
- What can I do to help her make friends?