Parent Teacher Interviews usually happen twice a year so you need to know how to make the most out them. They are not only the perfect way to get to know the person teaching your child but also help you understand their learning habits and develop a strategy to ensure the most success possible at home and in the school environment. Parent teacher interviews are not designed to put you on display or to ridicule your child. Instead, they are a way for a teacher and parent to get on the same page and discuss strategies for the best learning outcome possible for a child. They usually last for around 15 minutes and you can expect the teacher to discuss your child’s strengths, weaknesses and day to day habits. If you have been asked to attend a parent teacher interview, then below are some tips to make it go as smooth as possible:
Many parents get a little defensive when they attend a parent teacher interview. You may feel like you are on trial and your parenting is being criticized because your son or daughter is not acting completely perfect at school. This is not the case. The first thing you need to do is rise above these feelings and accept the help. Even if you don’t agree with what is being said, be the better person and give the teacher the benefit of the doubt. The teacher is most likely not trying to place blame on you for any problems or bad behavior but rather address the issue and try to find a solution that works best for your child. By addressing the situation with you, the teacher is asking you for your help after all, no one knows your child better than you.
Have a list of questions and concerns in your head or write them down before you go into the interview. As you only have a short period of time to talk to the teacher, you don’t want to waste it talking about things that are not important, especially if you do have some specific questions.
You may be unhappy with certain strategies or ways that the teacher is handling certain situations and discussing these concerns during a parent teacher interview is encouraged. However, don’t come ready to pounce. Be polite when bringing up these worries and try not to place blame. A teacher can be just as defensive as a parent if they feel like they are being blamed.
Focus on the Future
If your child is not excelling in school, don’t worry. There are ways that you and the teacher can work together to get them to enjoy school more and to learn more effectively. This may include outside classroom assignments, group work or even more one on one meetings in the future to discuss their progress.
Some parent teacher interviews are really only for formal purposes so that you and the teacher can meet. Even if you are just there to say hello and confirm that everything is going well in school, it is a good idea to have some questions prepared. Ask the teacher about what your child’s favourite subjects, what they could improve on and how they are getting along with the other kids. Even if you already know the answers, it is always nice to get a second opinion from someone that is actually there. However, if there is a problem, don’t take the interview like an attack but rather focus on working together to come to a solution.
Do you take advantage of parent-teacher interviews? Do you find them useful?