Organizing for a Parent Teacher Conference
Have you ever noticed just how stressful a parent teacher conference really is? Parents often automatically think that the teacher is out to get their children. The teacher almost always thinks that parents have it in for them. The children, well the children almost always are caught in the middle, and think that everyone is out to get them. Reduce this stress by taking some time to begin organizing for a parent teacher conference. By preparing yourself before hand, you can help ensure that everything goes a lot smoother for everyone involved.
- Set an appointment. If you find yourself needing to have a conference with your child's teacher, it is always a good idea to schedule an appointment. When you spring a meeting on someone at the last minute, that person almost always feels like they were ambushed, and this means that they will be on the defensive. Calling ahead and scheduling a conference is only good manners.
- Be informed. Before going to the conference, make sure that you know what is going on in your child's academic and social life. By being aware of your child's life, you will know if your child has any specific needs, worries, or even issues that need to be addressed.
- Be skeptical. Do not go into a parent teacher conference believing that your child is telling the total and unvarnished truth as to what is happening. Children have a tendency to exaggerate, and always like to place themselves in the best possible light. Conversely, do not assume that your child's teacher is going to give you the total truth either. Be aware that what is really happening is going to be somewhere in the middle of the two sides of the story.
- Make a list. Before going to the conference, create a list of questions that you feel need to be addressed. If you know of any problems, concerns, or issues that your child is having write them down. This way you will not forget the issues, and allow the meeting to get off track.
- Be on time. Just like with any meeting, it is always a good idea to be on time to a parent teacher conference. In fact, it is best to plan on being a little early to the meeting. By planning on being to the meeting at least five to ten minutes early, you can account for any difficulty in traffic, or even in discrepancies in clocks. By being on time or even a little early, you are showing the importance of the meeting.
- Be an adult, and keep your cool. No matter what is said in the meeting, make sure that you keep your cool and that you are an adult. These meetings can often be a little stressful, and in the heat of the moment things can get away from you. Do not let your emotions get out of control, keep your cool, and if things get out of hand simply leave. In such cases, reschedule your conference with the teacher's supervisor in attendance to help mediate.
- Remember what is important. As you go to a parent teacher conference, keep in mind that there should be only one overriding concern you need to be worried about. That concern is what is in the best interests of your child. All other concerns should come in secondary to that.