Parent-Teacher Conferences: Topics You Need to Cover

No one knows your child better than you do, so why not share the inside scoop with your teacher? Issues at home, learning habits, medical background, and personality traits may affect your child’s school behavior and performance. The new school year is an ideal time to open the doors of communication about your child. Yes, the teacher has a room full of children with different personalities and learning styles, but can you imagine how much easier it would be if she knew more about each child at the beginning of the school year? The more your teacher knows, the more effective she’ll be in teaching them.

Cover All Bases

Not quite sure what to divulge about your child? Here are some topics to consider. Remember, sharing this info will help your teacher better understand your child’s needs and lay the foundation for the mutual goal of a successful school year:

Personality Traits (and Quirks)

Does your son tap his feet while he reads? Has your daughter been experiencing night terrors and not been sleeping well? Is your son extremely introverted, has visual processing issues, or weak motor skills? It’s always a good idea to pass along this info to your teacher in the event that they lead to problems at school. Your teacher may also have creative ideas that can help. Alert the teacher if your child is self-conscious about their weight, new glasses, orthodontics, stuttering, etc. Be sure to pass along any tips that have worked at home.

Health & Well-Being

Talk to the teacher if your child has any serious health conditions, is diabetic, uses an inhaler, is allergic to peanuts, bees, etc. Although it is probably part of the school’s records, it’s good to let your teacher know, especially if there are any changes to the condition during the school year. You should also definitely let the teacher know whether your child has been diagnosed with conditions like ADHD or sensitivity issues, which may affect behavior and concentration.

Family Issues

If a significant event like a divorce, death, or serious illness has occurred, let your teacher know as soon as possible. Issues at home could really affect your child’s behavior and academic progress. Sometimes, a child will seem fine at home but act differently at school. With this info, the teacher can monitor any changes in behavior.

Religious Considerations

If your family practices a religion that requires your child to dress a certain way, avoid specific foods, or miss school, make sure to inform the teacher.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Your kiddo can read a short novel in a weekend, but when it comes to reading out loud, they’re tongue tied. When your teacher is aware of strengths and shortcomings, they can help your child improve in the areas they struggle with the most.

Learning Style

Is your child an auditory, kinesthetic, or visual learner? Share that information with your teacher; she may be able to make some adjustments. For example, if your child is given a weekly spelling list and each word is to be written 10 times and they still fail the test, you may want to let the teacher know that your child learns audibly and really nails the spelling test when they practice spelling the words out loud.

Special Interests

What really piques your child’s interest? Do they love to draw? Are they passionate about animals? Insight into interests can help build connections in the classroom.

Study Habits

Does your child struggle with sitting and doing homework? Do they plod through math but eagerly attack science assignments? Tell your teacher about it. She may be able to offer suggestions to make homework time a little more productive and a lot less stressful.

Works Well with Teachers

You remember the report card comment, “Works well with others?” It’s a positive trait for a student and for the parent-teacher relationship too. Stay in touch when necessary (while being respectful of your teacher’s time). And don’t forget to reach out with praise as well as problems. Teachers strive to have a successful partnership with parents and that involves communication on a regular basis, not just in times of trouble.

What are the things you plan on talking to your teacher about this school year? Share your tips with us!

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