Parent-teacher interviews: 6 essential tips for parents

What are some tips to getting teachers to open about your child and their classroom learning?

Parents have a chance to meet with their child's teachers today for insight into their learning

Parent-teacher interviews can be stressful, but a few tips can help parents get a lot out of them. (CBC)

Report cards have gone home. 

And now, it's time to discuss them, good and bad, with the teacher. 

Today's professional development day for Thames Valley District school board teachers is also a chance for parents to visit their child's classroom and learn about progress and areas for improvement. 

The advocacy group People for Education have prepared a tip sheet for parent-teacher interviews, to get the most out of the meetings. Here are some of the highlights: 

1. Read your child's report card.

That way, you'll know what he or she is thriving at, and what needs help. 

2. Speak to your child

Go over the report card with your child, and any other concerns your child might have about their teacher, the material, or their peers. 

3. Write down questions

Meeting the teacher can be stressful, and the meetings can be short, so having specific questions in mind before you go in. Think schoolwork, but also how the child is getting along with peers, is he or she thinking critically, or showing resiliency?

4. Share information

Is something going on in your kid's life that could be affecting school? This information could help your teacher understand your child and his or her learning better. 

5. Take notes

You might not remember what the teacher says once you leave that classroom. Jotting down what the teacher says will give you something to reference later. 

6. Follow up

Share some of the comments with your child, and talk about how what the teacher said squares with what the child has observed. Stress the positive the teacher said, and plan out how you might help with what needs improvement.