Knowing that you have to go to a parent-teacher conference may make you feel nervous, intimidated, or frustrated. You may wonder what to expect, and what is expected of you. Preparing a list of questions will help you have a productive conversation with your child’s teacher.
Prepare a list of questions.
Prioritize your questions in case you run out of time during the conference. The following questions are examples that will help you learn more about your child’s progress in school:
- What is my child expected to learn this year?
- How will this be evaluated?
- What are my child’s strongest and weakest subjects?
- What are some examples of these strengths and weaknesses?
- Does my child hand homework in on time?
- What types of tests and evaluations will my child have to take this year?
- How are my child’s test-taking skills?
- Is my child participating in class discussions and activities?
- How are my child’s social skills?
- Does my child seem happy at school?
- Have you noticed any unusual behaviors?
- Has my child missed any classes other than excused absences?
- Do you think my child is reaching his or her potential?
- What can I do at home to help support my child’s academic progress?
If your child receives special services (gifted programs, special education, English classes, speech or occupational therapy, or support for a learning disability), ask about the frequency of these services and about your child’s progress with them.
Ask for explanations of anything you don’t understand.
Listen carefully to what the teacher says. If you don’t understand something that the teacher talks about (such as an educational term or an explanation of a school policy), don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It is important for you to understand what your child’s teacher is telling you.
Ask the most important questions early in the conference.
Ask the most important questions first as you may run out of time, especially if other parents are waiting to have their conference after yours. You can always schedule another meeting with the teacher to cover any points you didn’t cover.
This article is excerpted with permission from Colorín Colorado.
- Get tips to make the most of your parent-teacher conference.
- Use these two-minute parent-teacher conference surveys to help talk about your child.
- Explore conversation starters to use with teachers.
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About the author
About the author
Colorín Colorado is the nation’s leading website providing research-based resources for educators and families of English language learners.
Ginny Osewalt is a dually certified elementary and special education teacher with more than 15 years of experience in general education, inclusion, resource room, and self-contained settings.