At the end of term 2, we usually receive our child’s first yearly report and meeting up with his/her teachers for a quick update on how it’s all going.
Is this a time in your child’s education that you look forward to? Or is a time you dread? Do you think you know what to expect? Has it snuck up on you without warning?
By this time in the year, parents shouldn’t be surprised by anything that’s raised in a parent teacher interview. If there are any concerns or glaring red lights, your child’s teacher should have contacted you already. So parent teacher interviews should really be a chance to get more information about your child’s academic and social development, as well as passing on any information that could help teachers understand and assist your child better in the classroom and at school.
Sometimes, these conversations are a way to raise your own concerns. Catholic schools aim to work in partnership with parents and acknowledge the important role parents play in their child’s education. Research shows that parental involvement in their child’s education results in a more positive and successful learning experience for their child. However, at the same time, parents must respect the knowledge and professionalism of the teacher, and understand that they may not always see a situation in the same way.
An article in the Catholic Weekly, titled ‘Tips for Parent-Teacher Interviews’ offers some useful parent-teacher interview preparation tips to ensure that these interviews are a positive experience for all.
Reflect: Think about the interview in advance and plan what you want to discuss.
Prepare: Talk to your child before the interview and identify questions you want to ask.
Acknowledge the role of the teacher: Remember the teacher has many students that they are responsible for. Appreciate their time.
Be proactive: Ask to see your child’s work and ask how it is graded or assessed. Ask what you can do to help your child at home.
Share: Be honest about your child and share your thoughts and feelings. Explain what you think your child needs help with.
Make an action plan: Make a plan with the teacher. Write it down. Organise a follow up meeting if required, especially if you are running out of time to discuss everything you had listed.
Follow up with your child: Discuss the interview with your child. Share with him/her what you have learned and ask for their suggestions.
Sourced from The Catholic Weekly