Kansas City, February 12, 2019: Learning is not a sprint; it is a lifelong journey, and at every turn, there are opportunities for new growth and development. Research shows that a strong parent, child and educator relationship helps boost student achievement and outcomes. However, family-teacher relationships don’t just happen. They are built over time through consistent communication, collaboration, creative problem solving, common goals, and most importantly, trust.
Meaningful and productive conversations help to create an action plan for supporting students for short and long-term success. We invite you to join us at your student’s school for Spring 2019 Parent-Teacher Conferences on February 14! Regardless of your child’s current experience in school, it’s important to make the most of your parent-teacher conference. Here are tips to help you and the teacher work together toward success for your child at parent-teacher conferences:
- Talk with your child before the conference
Ask your child about his or her strongest and weakest subjects. Which subjects does he or she like most and least? Ask if your child would like you to speak about anything particular with the teacher. Make sure your child understands that you and the teacher are meeting to help your child, so that he or she doesn’t worry about the conference.
- Prepare notes and questions
Make a list of topics you want to discuss with the teacher and that you think the teacher should know. This includes your concerns about the school, any major changes in your family, your child’s habits, hobbies, part-time jobs, religious holidays and anything that’s worrying your child. Be sure to ask for input from your spouse or partner, as well as from other adults who are caring for your child. Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with the teacher. Prioritize the questions in case you run out of time during the conference.
- Ask for explanations of anything you don’t understand
Listen carefully to what the teacher says. If you don’t understand something the teacher talks about (like an educational term or an explanation of a school policy), don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It’s important to understand what your child’s teacher is telling you.
- Create an action plan
Work together to create an action plan that involves you, the teacher, your child and other key people like tutors or therapists. The plan should include specific suggestions of ways you can help at home.
- Keep in touch with the teacher
Stay in touch with your child’s teacher. This will help you strengthen the parent-teacher partnership and will be an important part of your child’s success in school. When your child sees his or her parents and teachers are working together, your child will understand that his or her well-being is a top priority at school and at home.
We are here to help you maximize this opportunity. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Office of Family and Community Engagement at 816-418-7455.