With school in full swing that means open house nights and parent teacher interviews are just around the corner. With Cheyenne we learned a few things along the way, now that we have two in school we're prepared for whatever challenge is waiting. Meeting your child's teacher for the first time can be a little intimidating but with a little preparation the meeting will be a huge success!
1. Build a rapport. Start the meeting off on a good note by thanking them for the positive changes you've noticed in your child. For me it will be encouraging responsibility in Dustin.
2. Have questions ready. Cut the small talk and get right down to what's important – your child! Ask your most important questions first, they might even answer some of your smaller questions.
3. Always be open minded. If you are meeting because of a problem keep these points in mind:
- Don't get angry or overly apologetic
- Ask what strategies are being used at school to address problems
- Ask how you can continue supporting the school's strategies at home
- Schedule a follow up to discuss your child's progress
4. Create an action plan. If you discover your child is struggling behaviorally or academically speak up and ask questions. Decide on the actions that need to be taken and how you will communicate with the teacher about your child's progress – whether it is email, notes home, phone or meeting in person. Let the teacher know what you consider important and want to hear about immediately so you can take action at home to correct the problem.
5. End the meeting on a high note. Do a quick review of everything that has been discussed and make sure everyone is clear on their roles. Schedule a follow-up meeting if it is appropriate to do so. If everything is going fine academically and behaviorally then you probably won't need a follow up but let the teacher know how you can be reached if anything does come up.
The most important thing to remember is to check your emotions at the door and open the lines of communication with your child's teacher. There are always two sides to a story so what your child is telling you at home might be a little different in the teacher's perspective. Don't be afraid to ask questions especially if you need clarity.
Remember you and the teacher want what's best for your child so work together as a team towards that common goal!
What's your best tip for meeting your child's teacher?