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An effective parent / teacher relationship is one of the main ingredients in student achievement. Working together, parents and teachers can support the
whole child - this means positive development and growth academically as well as socially and emotionally.
Here are a few questions you might ask to get the conversation started - choose a few or choose them all:
No one knows your child better than you do, so it's your job to help your child's teacher learn more. It’s good for teachers to know what motivates your child, their likes and dislikes, special skills, strengths and weaknesses. This is a great time to talk about your own hopes and dreams for your child!
A regular check-in about your child's peer relations is always a good idea. Building healthy relationships at school, learning teamwork, resisting inappropriate peer pressure, good communication and seeking and offering help when needed are all skills your child should be learning now to prepare for future college and career.
It's also important to ask about your child's emotional health at school. For example, is your child generally happy? Ask how your child is handling their emotions on good days and challenging days. Have the teacher and student worked together on any self-management goals at school that you can support and encourage at home?
Your child's teacher sees him from a different perspective than you do. Ask the teacher what areas or skills your child needs to work on, and listen to the response with an open mind.
Your child’s teacher should be able to share lots of good stuff, too. Ask the teacher to describe your child’s strengths & gifts they bring to the classroom community.
At the parent/ teacher conference, expect to see examples of your child’s work. Your student shouldn’t be compared to other students. Since every child is different and has different strengths and learning abilities- always focus on your child’s performance in school with the grade-level expectations.
Most parents have lots of questions about standardized testing and assessment results- don't hesitate in asking 'What does this assessment (test) really mean?' Schools use assessments (testing) to monitor student progress. The more you know about the testing the more you can support your student and minimize any anxiety about testing for your child and your own!
Your child's teacher can tell you if your child is falling behind in a skill or a subject. Armed with that information, work with your child's teacher to create a plan to help your child harder in that area, sooner than later.
At TPS we believe that everyone has something to contribute to student success and family/parent engagement looks different for different families and may change over time. Teachers appreciate parent support so ask what you can do to support your child’s teacher the classroom- are there volunteer opportunities? If you cannot volunteer in the classroom during the day at this time, there might be prep work you can do at home to assist in the classroom, ways to share your culture or experience with students or evening events your can volunteer at or attend. Share your own ideas about how could support student success!
It's good to know how to get in touch with your child's teacher, so find out whether he or she prefers emails, phone calls or written notes.
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