Parent-teacher conferences can be a win-win situation for everyone – the child, the parents and the school. The parents are the experts on knowing their child. The teacher is the expert on knowing the child’s educational needs. The child is often the expert on playing parent and teacher against each other, unless school and home are working together. When home and school cooperated, the child realizes that he or she is up against an organized front. Then he or she stops “pushing buttons” and begins to move toward achievement.
To meet a child’s educational needs, parents and teachers need to share specific information. This shared information enables the teacher and parents to work together to solve problems and increase students’ interest in learning.
Information parents should share with the teacher regarding their child:
- Interests, talents, special needs, discipline techniques that work, etc.
- Positive feedback about what the child likes about school.
- Feedback about the child’s concerns, disabilities, or weak points.
- The parents’ own concerns.
- Family information that may be affecting the child’s learning experiences.
Information teachers should share with parents:
- A realistic look at the child’s abilities and short-comings.
- Areas where the teacher’s expectations are not being met.
- Suggestions for help at home.
- A plan to bring teachers, parents, and students together on the same playing field.
- Concerns regarding the student’s physical/mental health, disabilities, or roadblocks.
When parents and teachers team up, the child benefits. Parents and teachers should share as much information as possible so they can be more effective in their respective roles.