At parent’s evening, you probably have quite a few things you’d like to talk about, but possibly only a 10-minute or 15-minute appointment. If you can prepare a little beforehand it will be less stressful and you’ll get more from your meeting with your child’s teacher, especially if it’s your first one.
Focus on the child – You will only have a few short minutes with teacher so focus on your child’s education and not on concerns over general school policies. You can raise these later via the school office.
Don’t be defensive – teacher will probably begin your meeting with positive comments about your child. But you may also be told about areas where your child has room to develop. Your child’s teacher may suggest your child is given extra help with reading or writing. She is not blaming you or your child; she is trying to identify ways to help your child get the most from his education.
Ask about friendships as well as schoolwork – How well your child fits in socially can have an effect on how well he learns. Ask the teacher whether your child always plays with the same children. Perhaps your child has made some new friends. Ask whether the teacher has any concerns about how your child gets along with others. The teacher will also be able to tell you how your child joins in with classroom discussions.
Involve your child – Ask your child how things are going at school. Ask him if he has any questions for the teacher. Afterwards, pass on any praise and positive comments the teacher made and discuss any areas of concern. Involvement gives your child a sense that he has been heard and that you take him seriously.
Which questions to ask?
If this is the first parents’ evening you’ve attending, you may be unsure exactly what you can ask. Here are a few pointers:
- Do they seem happy at school? Do they get along with other children?
- Which subject is their strongest and which do they most enjoy?
- What is their weakest subject and how can you help them to progress?
- What can we do at home to help with school-work?
- Are they at the expected level for their age group? If not, what areas need improvement and what is being done to bring them up to the required level?
- Do they contribute to class discussions?
If your child is having any learning difficulties then bring this up as well. What extra support can the school provide?