If you still have questions after parent teacher conferences, you may need to contact the teacher again, so you and your child can feel comfortable with the action plan. Good parent-teacher relationships are the key to the success of all students!
The first quarter of the school year is over. By now, you’ve met your child’s teacher on conference night and got your first peek at a report card. But sometimes, it is after the conference that you have the most questions.
Let’s face it, sometimes fifteen minutes with the person who spends a lot of time with your child just isn’t enough. Below are some common concerns that parents have post conference. Read below to find ways to help you plan your next steps.
PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
1. Your child needs more support.
It is very difficult hearing the news that your child is struggling academically. If your child’s teacher is recommending additional academic interventions, it is important that you have an open mind. Research shows that the earlier academic interventions are put into place, the higher the rate of success for the student. Teachers are trained to catch learning problems early on. Typical academic interventions include pull out reading and math services. These services allow a teacher to work with a small group and individualize instruction to help the child catch up. This service can be put into place immediately with your permission.
2. Your child’s teacher is recommending a special education evaluation.
If your child was already receiving academic intervention services and is not showing as much progress as the teacher would like, she might recommend a special education evaluation. This entails a school psychologist testing your child in school, looking for possible learning disabilities. After testing is complete, a team is formed consisting of the psychologist, teacher, parents and service providers. A plan will be put into place to help your child get the services he needs to be successful. It is important to remember that the earlier services are put into place, the more successful your child will be. Although it can be frightening to think about special education as an option for your family, your child’s teacher and the school psychologist will guide you through the process.
3. Your child needs enrichment.
Sometimes a parent/teacher conference can leave you questioning if your gifted child’s needs are being met. Many schools cut programs for the gifted due to budgetary issues. It is important for all children to feel challenged at school. It is easy for a gifted student to fall to the wayside with the pressures teachers face helping their struggling students. Ask your child’s teacher what you can do to help support her at home. I recommend checking your child’s homework to make sure it is her best work. Many times parents don’t check homework for their gifted students because they finish it quickly and with little mistakes. Challenge your little learner to write a story with his spelling words, instead of short sentences. Add a few more challenging math problems yourself and attach it to the homework. You can also ask your child’s teacher for added homework options or project ideas. Most teachers will give extra credit or modify homework for gifted learners.
4. Your child has behavioral issues.
One of the parent/teacher conferences I dread the most involves students with behavioral issues. Teachers just don’t know how open parents are to hearing that their little sweetie is not so sweet in school. Try to hear your child’s teacher out. Sometimes children behave very differently at home than they do in school. Sometimes certain combinations of children bring out the worst in them. Try not to take it personally. All children misbehave at times. Ask your child’s teacher what you can do to help reinforce good behavior in the classroom. Share what works for you at home. Sometimes better school-to-home communication is all it takes. Ask for weekly updates from the teacher and then reward the good report at the end of the week. Be sure to give consequences for poor behavior as well. Make sure the punishment fits the crime. Loss of technology or a special privilege usually does the trick.
A good parent/teacher conference should give you insight into what your child is doing during the school day. You should know if your child is performing on grade level and how he is interacting with his peers. You need to take the teachers recommendations seriously and offer support where you can. If you still have questions or are not comfortable with the plan in place for your child, you might need to contact the teacher again. Good parent-teacher relationships are the key to the success of all students!
Thanks for reading,
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