While there are many articles covering the exchange of information at parent-teacher conferences, some recent developments should also be stressed.
“Common Core Standards” are now federal mandated models for K-12 education, and they have been implemented in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
An additional development is that school policies have caused parent / teacher meetings to be condensed, to accommodate larger numbers of parents and guardians.
Discussing Common Core Standards is important because parents can easily get grade-level expectations through their state department of education that clearly define reading, writing, and math standards, for a particular grade level. So, in addition to the important question “What is my child’s current achievement level and how does it compare with other students in the same age group?” a good follow-up question would be “How does my child rank in grade level expectation using Common Core Standards?
Another very important question to now ask is “How does my child learn best?” While most students learn by a combination of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (hands-on) strategies, usually one is more dominant. Some children are more visual, some learn best by listening, while others benefit more from actual doing. By this time in the school year, most teachers have a sense of your child’s learning style. The answer to this question helps you understand ways to help your child at home. It also reinforces how well your child’s teacher knows him.
School Family has an excellent downloadable for parents titled Back-to-School Conference Questions. Bring those questions to the parent-teacher conference, and use the questions mentioned here to supplement them. This will help you maximize the time you will spend with your child’s teacher. The information exchanged could lead to a very positive effect on your child, and ensure a successful school year.