How to Have Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences

Posted on November 6, 2017
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Categories: Family News & Resources

Research shows that student achievement increases when parents, students, and teachers work as a team. A parent-teacher conference is an opportunity for you and your child’s teachers to engage in conversations about student learning at home and at school.



Follow these 6 Steps for a GREAT Parent-Teacher Conference to get you started:

  1. Start the conference on a positive note.
  2. Before you arrive, write down the items you want to discuss during the conference.
  3. During the conference, take notes so you won’t forget what was said.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  5. Keep asking until you understand. At the end of the conference, recap what was talked about. Pay special attention to those things each of you said you would do and the deadlines.
  6. Commit to listening with an open mind. Even if there are problems to discuss.

Remember, you are your child’s best and most important advocate. Don’t miss this chance to connect with the school.

Plus, think about the following common myths — and the TRUTH behind these myths — when going into your conference:

MYTH: “I just don’t get along with my child’s teacher. He doesn’t like me and I don’t like him. We don’t have anything to talk about.”

WRONG! You have lots to talk about. No matter how hard teachers and parents work towards partnership, occasional problems are unavoidable. Don’t let problems interfere with your job of being your child’s strongest advocate. Too much is at stake!
It is possible for parents and teachers to work together if the focus remains on what’s best for the student, and off of personal feelings.

MYTH: “My children are in middle and high school. They don’t do conferences anymore.”

WRONG! Conferences in middle and high schools are still happening.

MYTH: “Don’t I have to wait until November to have a Parent-Teacher Conference?”

NOT AT ALL! You can have a parent-teacher conference any time of the year. If you have a concern about your child’s performance you need only to give the teacher or guidance counselor a call to make an appointment.

Remember, conferences don’t always have to be face to face. You can always discuss issues over the phone or by e-mail.

MYTH: “My child gets good grades in school. Do I still need to go to a parent-teacher conference?”

YES, YOU STILL NEED TO GO! The report card is just a snapshot of how a child is progressing in school; the parent-teacher conference is like a full color DVD.

At a conference, parents can see work samples and hear descriptions of their child’s academic, social, emotional and behavioral development. Parents can share firsthand what they have experienced at home.

Please download, read, and pass on the following helpful tools so that all families can have great parent-teacher conferences this year!

At-the-Conference Checklist

Parent-Teacher Conference Myth Busters & Tips

Parent Portal Sign-up Instructions