Parent-Teacher conferences are such a powerful tool to bridge the relationship between school and families. Parent-Teacher conferences are designed to create an opportunity for the families and the teachers to talk. Most conferences are scheduled for 15 minute time blocks. You may be nervous or unsure what your role is during this event. Not knowing what to say, what to ask for, what your role is and the idea that it’s only 15 minutes can be unnerving and stressful.
I have been both the teacher and the parent at these meetings. I have been in your shoes. I have gathered my most favorite questions for you to ask at your next conference.
At Who’s Learning Now, we believe in communication and connection. For learning and growth to happen you need to meet people where they are at. In order to meet them where they are at, you need to ask questions, really listen to the answers and develop a plan to move forward.
If you follow my blogs, posts or know me, you know that I believe if your social/emotional needs are not being met then it’s almost impossible to learn - anything. Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s research proves that if your basic needs are not getting met, it’s almost impossible to achieve higher goals. For example, if you are sad, worried, hungry, anxious or not sleeping, you really don’t care about learning to read, your multiplication facts or completing that research project! The list of questions that I have listed, help you ask the right questions to understand what’s going on in your student’s life, whether you are the parent, the teacher or even the student!
Questions for Parents to Ask the Teacher:
How is my child doing emotionally?
How is my child doing socially?
What are my child’s academic strengths and weaknesses?
Does my child need extra help in any areas?
How can I help at home to support what you’re doing in the classroom?
Questions for Teachers to Ask the Parent:
Tell me about your child.
What’s your child’s favorite and least favorite things about school?
Would you like to share anything that is going on at home?
What does your child do outside of school?
What is the best way to communicate with you?
Questions for the Student to ask their Parents and Teachers:
Can I share with you how I feel successful?
Can I share with you what I’m struggling with?
I would love to be recognized for my effort in ______________.
Can you help me with ______?
If I could wave my magic wand, school would look like_______!
Parents, teachers and the students have a similar goal when it comes to the conferences. It’s a time to share how the student is doing at school socially, emotionally and academically. During the 15 minute conference by asking the right questions and listening to the answers all the players can use this time most effectively. They can be reflective together. What’s going great? Where are we struggling? And how can we move forward to make progress?