How to make the most of your 10-15 minutes
We all know 2021 holds a vastly different way of looking at education and parent-teacher conferences. Nobody should go in with the same agenda that they would have had in 2019. Some parents haven’t even been inside their children’s schools, let alone classrooms! So how can you make the most out of the 10-15 minutes you’ll have with your child’s teacher? How can you advocate for your child and establish a partnership with his or her teacher? Stacy and Sherri discussed that and more in a recent livestream.
Make sure if there’s something you’d really like the answer to, you bring it to the teacher. Send a note ahead of time! It will prepare teachers and ease anxiety all around. Some examples of questions you might want the answers to:
- Where does my child fit in the class? Is he/she struggling?
- Is the mask hard for him/her?
- Is it difficult for him/her to follow directions in class? Are you happy with his/her attention?
- Can he/she follow the day and follow the transitions?
- After the isolation of pandemic, how is he/she doing in groupwork?
- If they’re chatty at home, are they chatty at school too?
- Does he/she seem better in the morning or the afternoon?
You don’t have to agree with everything you hear, but if something strikes a lightning bolt for you, get more information.
Be persistent, keep your cool, and don’t blindly trust the “experts.” As parent you’re the expert, so trust your gut.
Don’t let any diagnosis or report drive the way you feel about your child if they’re struggling.
Your child can only move as fast as they can. Development is uneven. Think about how YOU learn and your own school days.
Always remember, parents, we listen with our hearts, not our heads. Be gentle with what you think and how you approach what you may hear.
Ask the teacher for 3 positive things about your child and 3 things he/she needs to work on!
Bring a journal with you to take notes or bring someone you trust to join the meeting (spouse, grandparent, etc.) to help keep track of any information you might glean.
Establishing a partnership with your child’s teacher will be important all year, every year.
Try to turn off the noise and genuinely give each teacher an honest chance.