What To Do After the Parent Teacher Conference
By: Elena Sonnino of CiaoMom.com (Read an excerpt below and the entire post here)
. . . while in the classroom, I tried to help my students focus on reflecting on that had done well, what they could improve, and what new goals they would like to set without even seeing their report card grades. I did the same when I met with parents at the fall parent teacher conference.
As a parent though, I know this can be a hard line to juggle. We want our children to be the best they can be while still being realistic about their strengths and areas of need.
Here is what I know as someone who has sat on both sides of the parent teacher conference table.
Talking to our children about what we learned about their learning during the conference is important.
If we want our students to see teachers and parents as partners, they have to know that we talk and share stories, ideas, successes and moments of need. We need to ask the critical questions of our teachers about how our children are learning, what their academic succeses have been and what areas could be improved. We need to listen even if we see different characteristics at home, because I can attest to the fact that children demonstrate selected traits in selective locations. The key is how we frame the discussion.
Starting the conference with “It sounds like X and Y are two things you are trying your best with/showing your learning/making progress with” is a great way to start with the positives. Highlighting areas of growth or strength are ways to help our children feel encouraged and positive. Highlighting the strengths not only helps foster their self confidence, but can be used as a tool when then approaching areas that need to improve.