You walk into your child’s classroom to meet with their teacher and are already feeling rushed because you had to race from work to attend this meeting. Your thoughts are scattered but you still manage to have a brief, courteous chat with your child’s teacher. She tells you that your son is doing well in school but has been challenged recently in math and that she hopes you can help him more with homework at home. You nod and agree and thank her for her time and, after covering a few other points, you head home only to realize you really didn’t accomplish anything in that meeting…you have no idea where to go with the information she provided!
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
I can still remember the best parent-teacher interview I had – it was with my daughter’s grade 5 teacher (almost 20 years ago!). She had a detailed record of all of my daughter’s marks for tests and projects and led an informative and positive meeting. This allowed me to ask specific questions on her progress and discuss strategies for the future to ensure she continued to grow. This is the dream for every parent as they enter these meetings!
That being said, this is not always the norm and, in fact, many of our parents at the centre tell us that they face a very different scenario, with nothing prepared at all for the meeting. I love when parents come in to the centre to discuss and strategize for parent teacher interviews as it helps them prepare for the best meeting possible!
Our Top 4 Tips to Get the Most of Parent Teacher Interviews:
- Ask to see the work, test papers, projects etc. that make up the total of the results that were reported on your child’s report card. If not the work itself, at least the record that the teacher has kept.
- Make note of anything from the report that you need clarified. Reporting methods are changing – some schools still use letter grades, others descriptors (developing, acquired, excelling etc.) and others, a number system. If you feel that, once you’ve reviewed your child’s report card, you are not confident that you understand their progress, ask for clarification and supporting documentation.
- Take your child along. After attending a few of these meeting I realized that the person who would benefit most from the discussion was absent. I began to bring my children along. Once we had finished the general discussion about progress etc., I would ask “If my daughter wanted to improve her grades, results, etc. what would she need to do differently?” It is better for this discussion to happen between the teacher and the student than the teacher and the parent.
- Make these meetings an opportunity to create trust and rapport with the teacher. A positive, collaborative relationship will always work in your child’s favour!
Following these tips can help you feel more prepared and engaged in parent teacher interviews – ensuring you capitalize on valuable time with your kid’s teachers!
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Contact us for more information or to book a free mathematics assessment (just mention that you found us on North Shore Mama).
About Marine Drive Math & Science Centre
Since 1997 the Math & Science Centre, conveniently located on the fourth floor of Capilano Mall, has been providing tutorial services to students in North and West Vancouver. In that time we have helped over 1500 students improve their grades and confidence.
Our main focus is Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and English
We are proud to say that our tutors have been working at the Math & Science Centre for many years. They have worked with hundreds of learners and have gained exceptional experience in helping students with many different learning styles and abilities – from those who are struggling to those who are ready to be challenged.