Parent-teacher nights can be almost as daunting for parents as they are for kids! Parents are often uncertain about what questions to ask and how to make the most of the brief time allotted to them.
It’s important to use this time to get feedback, discuss areas for improvement and find out if your child needs extra support. This information will help you make the right choices for your child’s future and ensure they are receiving a quality education.
If you student seems to be doing well, it might be tempting to skip parent-teacher night, but this is not a good idea. Attending shows interest and support, and it allows you to establish a rapport with teachers which will help if problems do crop up later.
According to the Director of the Gonski Institute for Education Adrian Piccoli, parents can ensure the night is a success by planning ahead and taking notes during meetings.
This gives parents something to refer to and will help you remember what was discussed, which can be an issue when meeting with multiple high school teachers, especially if you have more than one child.
In his book 12 Ways Your Child Can Get The Best Out Of School, Piccoli lists some questions for parents to ask at parent-teacher interviews:
These questions will help you gauge how well your child is performing and if they are keeping up in class. They can also give insights into your child’s social skills and adjustment.
If a teacher’s answers to your questions seems vague or unclear, don’t be afraid to ask for more specific information and examples. This is an opportunity to assess how closely the teacher is following your student’s progress and the quality of education provided at the school.
If your child needs help, now is the time to find out what additional support the school offers.
Teachers have advice of their own when it comes to parent-teacher night. Many believe it’s good for students to be present during meetings when possible. They welcome the opportunity to find out how their students home lives may be impacting on their behaviour and results.
Teachers also like to get an idea of how interested parents are, so be prepared for your child’s teacher to turn the tables on you by inquiring if you know what your student is learning about in class.
When discussing results, teachers would like parents to focus on their child’s overall journey, not just their performance in standardised tests.
Follow these tips to make the most of parent-teacher night.