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Making the Most of Your Parent Teacher Interviews! Making the Most of Your Parent Teacher Interviews!
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... Making the Most of Your Parent Teacher Interviews!

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!

parent teacher interviews

Our Top 4 Tips to Get the Most of Parent Teacher Interviews:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

Did you miss these other great posts?: 

Math: If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
Top 5 Reasons Your Child Should Know Their Math Facts
Top 3 Homework Do’s and Don’ts for Parents
What makes math different from other subjects?

Contact us for more information or to book a free mathematics assessment (just mention that you found us on North Shore Mama).

Connect with Marine Drive Math & Science Centre on Facebook and on Twitter.

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.

Karen Hilton

Since 1997, Karen Hilton has owned and operated the Marine Drive Math & Science Centre located in Capilano Mall. In that time her centre has helped over 1500 students, from kindergarten to grade 12, improve their understanding, grades and confidence in mathematics, physics, chemistry and English.

  • Tairalyn

    January 15, 2016 #1 Author

    Seriously thank you for this. Last year was our first and Sammy and I felt so stumped. This time, we go prepared :)


    • Jessica Blumel

      January 15, 2016 #2 Author

      I don’t think you’re alone!!! It’s so nice to go into the meeting feeling equipped!


  • Theresa

    January 19, 2016 #3 Author

    Your daughter’s 5th graded teacher sounds like she was very organized! Thank you for the tips on making the most of parent-teacher meetings. It is interesting that they became more valuable with your child present.


  • Tricia

    January 19, 2016 #4 Author

    Wonderful post. I love all of these tips. I am a former teacher, and I agree with all of these. I’m slightly nervous how I will be when I get to the other sides of things. My son is only 2, so we have some time just yet.


  • Cheryl

    January 20, 2016 #5 Author

    I never thought of taking my daughter along?! I always find we are so limited for tome with just appointments just 15 mins apart that it leaves such little time for discussion especially if the one before you runs over :(


  • Yuen C

    January 21, 2016 #6 Author

    Great tips, thanks!


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