Parent-Teacher Conferences at Elementary School
Each year, usually around the time of the first round of report cards, you'll be invited to meet with your child's teacher to discuss your child's progress. For some, these meetings are fairly routine; for others, these meetings can generate a good deal of anxiety. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, there are some simple strategies that will help you make the most of parent-teacher conferences.
First, use this opportunity to get to know the teacher. Ask questions about the teacher's style and expectations for your child's academic progress and manner. You can also find out what the teacher expects from you in terms of involvement and communication, and share your preferred methods for contact (for example, cell phone numbers, email addresses).
Second, use this opportunity to share with the teacher your expectations for your child's development and progress over the course of the year, and in the years to come. You might also share what you view as your child's strengths and challenges, both academically and socially. This helps the conversation to focus on your child as a whole, rather just on one or two specific aspects.
Lastly, be open to hearing what the teacher has to say about your child. Just because the teacher may see him in a different way than you doesn't mean his or her perspective is wrong -- it's just different. In fact, it will shed light on how others may view your child. And, if you're open to what the teacher has to say, the teacher is going to be more likely to listen to what you have to say.