National standards have set the bar for academic achievement, which means that today it is clear what a student should have achieved by certain points in the school year.
Parent teacher conferences are a terrific opportunity for parents to get an accurate picture of their child’s academic achievement and how he is functioning in the classroom. The key to a successful parent teacher conference is to maximize the exchange of information, in a limited amount of time.
Here are 6 important questions for parents to ask at conferences for students in kindergarten, and 1st and 2nd grade:
- At this point in the school year, what is the expected reading level? Is my child on level?
- Are my child’s math skills meeting the standards?
- What can I do, as a parent, to enhance my child’s academic progress in reading and math?
- How does my child interact socially with classmates? Does this behavior affect his/her academics?
- What do you see as my child’s strengths?
- What is the preferred way to communicate? (Email, phone calls, notes, etc., and what is a typical response time?)
Parents should also remember to:
- Bring a notebook and take notes, so that you can remember what was discussed and any important suggestions made by the teacher.
- Let the teacher know of any changes at home that could affect academics, such as the arrival of a new baby, a job loss, etc.
Finally, remember that you and your child’s teacher want the same thing—a successful and happy school year for your child!