As a parent and a teacher, I have been on both sides of the parent-teacher conference. Sometimes I have wondered whether we were discussing the same child. Most of the time, parents have listened intently as I pointed out their child's strengths and weaknesses. Occasionally I have had to deal with defensive parents and parents with unreasonable expectations.
Read the excellent article entitled Tips for Parents on Parent-Teacher Conferences on the National Education Association site. Against this backdrop, here are a few suggestions to help you have a successful parent-teacher conference.
This video offers an example of a parent-teacher conference.
You have to show up to have a successful meeting with your child's teacher. That sounds so obvious, doesn't it? I can clearly remember times when the parents with whom I wanted to meet were no shows. Perhaps there was a good reason why they missed their parent-teacher conference. However, in most of those cases, I don't recall receiving a phone call or a note explaining what happened. As soon as you receive your parent-teacher conference appointment, save it in your smartphone's calendar and Google calendar. If you cannot attend for some valid reason, text, or email your child's teacher as soon as possible. Ask to re-schedule the conference.
Arriving for the conference.
Arrive at the school at least 10 minutes early for your conference. If the conference before yours was canceled at the last minute or ends early, you will be on hand and ready
This article is also available as a podcast.
Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia -inspired schools are three highly-regarded early education methods. Here are five facts about each method together with links and videos to additional materials which I have selected to enhance your research. Choosing the right school for your child is a process. Follow all the steps in that process and you will be rewarded with a good result. Cutting corners or waiting until the last minute will stress you out and not produce the intended results.
Five Facts about Montessori
Montessori is the name of a very popular approach for teaching preschool and primary age children. We'll explore the reasons for its popularity later. First, let's examine how Montessori got its start. As with many great movements, Montessori began with an idea and some theories put forth by one of those remarkable visionaries who dot the pages of history.
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was born and raised in Italy. She came from a family of modest means. Her father did not approve of his daughter's desire to be educated much less to become a doctor. Women didn't do such things back at the end of the 19th century. Despite the many obstacles which stood in her way Maria earned her degree from the University of Rome in 1896. Her specialty was pediatric medicine.
While Dr. Montessori was working towards her degree, she
For remediating learning gaps
Your child may have straight A's in English but struggle to achieve a B in Math. While one or two B's won't be a deal breaker at some schools, it won't help if your child is applying to very competitive schools. What to do? As soon as you discover that she has a problem with a core subject like mathematics or reading, do something about it. Tailor the solution to the situation. If a little extra help at her present school is all that is necessary, then go that route. If more drastic measures are required, then hire a tutor. We did that one summer, and it made all the difference in our daughter's comfort level with mathematics.
Children learn in different ways. So, be sure to observe how your child is being taught. That will guide you on what solution to seek. It's very important not to make your child feel like she is being punished or that she is a failure. Instead, you need to explain that core subjects are taught over many years. She needs to understand each level thoroughly before she advances to the next. Core subjects are the foundation on which