This week I am participating in Alphabet Thursday sponsored by Off On My Tangent!The letter this week is the Letter L! I am going to help you Learn how to talk to your child's teacher during a parent-teacher conference! It matters very Little whether this is a regularly scheduled conference or you are Longing to discuss a particular issue with a teacher. Let's Look at ways that will help you get the answers to your questions and that you get to share any needed information that might make school Less stressful for your child!

Prior to the conference, make a list:

List everything that you want to ask the teacher as well as anything that you want to bring up.

Listen to your child prior to the conference.  Tell your child that you have a conference scheduled and ask  if there is anything that your child would like you to talk about with his or her teacher.

Look for ways to start the conference off to a good start. Thank the teacher for anything good that you have noticed that has helped your child improve.

Let the teacher know about anything outside of school that would be helpful for him or her to know about any family dynamics that might be impacting your child's performance at school. Examples might include divorce, undue stress due to a family illness, etc.

Level with the teacher without losing your cool.

Let yourself be aware of the time factor once you arrive. Be sure to have your list of things you want to cover handy since teachers only have a specific amount of time allotted for each conference.

List anything important in the notes you take during the conference so that once you leave, you can remember what the teacher recommended or said.

76 comments

  1. Tracy // April 8, 2010 at 4:37 PM  

    welcome I am happy to be the first to comment I love yoour blog and would love to follow you . I have been doing this since D welcome The teacher is a pushover by the way

  2. Christy // April 8, 2010 at 4:50 PM  

    I love these tips. I have wasted too many parent teacher conferences by not being prepared. Great L post!
    Thank you for stopping by my blog.

  3. Nadeen // April 8, 2010 at 4:53 PM  

    Don't do P/T conferences any more. But did appreciate having them. Wish someone like you had been around when I was doing them.

    My kids did pretty well in school and so my concern was that they got lost in the system (i.e., they weren't the troublemakers demanding attention) and that they were challenged enough. Never knew how to ask for more challenging things for them.

    But they are productive, giving adults now, so I guess they did fine. We are proud of them.

  4. kim // April 8, 2010 at 4:57 PM  

    I am so glad I am way passed the parent teacher conferences. Went to quite a few. My grandmother taught first grade for 35 years. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Ms. Anthropy // April 8, 2010 at 5:16 PM  

    Making that List is so important, especially if you tend to flustered and forget what you wanted to ask.

  6. Andrea // April 8, 2010 at 5:18 PM  

    Great tips. Parents should always realize how important it is to stay in communication with their child's teacher.
    Blessings, andrea

  7. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 5:27 PM  

    Thanks Tracy! I appreciate the comment.

  8. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 5:28 PM  

    Thanks Christy! Have a great day! I enjoyed yours too.

  9. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 5:29 PM  

    I am so glad Nadeen. Those are the exact kids that can so easily be ignored if we as teachers aren't careful. Thanks for your comment.

  10. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 5:30 PM  

    Kim,

    This is my 34th year of teaching. (I started when I was two)

  11. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 5:30 PM  

    Good point Ms. A. I hope you are having a great day. I will hop on over to your blog shortly!

  12. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 5:31 PM  

    Thanks Andrea. I always love hearing from you.

    Blessings!

  13. Shell // April 8, 2010 at 5:42 PM  

    Love your advice!

    I wrote this a while back, for parents, on how to deal with their child's teacher: http://thingsicantsay-shell.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-deal-with-your-kids-teacher.html

    P.S. I notice you respond right in your comments. If you change your settings so that you get a notification whenever you get a comment, they will go to your email and then you can reply right from your email. :)

  14. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

    Wow Shell. You are teaching me all kinds of things. I am going to experiment with adding a button this week-end. Now I have another thing to work on. Thanks for all of the advice!

  15. jeff campbell // April 8, 2010 at 6:16 PM  

    I think you have a very fine...and informative post, Pamela? I appreciate teachers...my wife, HappyMrsC is a teacher...pre-k. Thanks for your visit to my "Love" post...Blessings

  16. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 6:34 PM  

    Thanks Jeff!

    I follow your wife's blog and just did not make the connection. Thanks for your comment!

    Blessings!

  17. mbkatc230 // April 8, 2010 at 6:34 PM  

    These are great tips! My P/T conference days are long past, Cait will be graduating from college in May - as a teacher :) I especially like the tip about writing a list of questions, I tend to be easily distracted and lose my train of thought! My favorite teacher comment came when Cait was in kindergarten. I was concerned that she might talk too much, and Mrs. Gandy, bless her heart, said she totally understood my concern because she had a child who was "high verbal" also. I laughed for a week! Kathy

  18. Jo // April 8, 2010 at 6:42 PM  

    Wonderful post ... the tips are useful ... i miss P/T conferences ... i wish they had them in collage. Welcome to Alphabe-Thursday!

  19. Short and Sweet // April 8, 2010 at 6:48 PM  

    "Listen and learn"...AMEN. I'm a retired school teacher (31 years) and you are so right about the parent/teacher conference questions. I taught intermediate (4,5 & 6)and my perspective is a bit different from yours as a kinder teacher but our goals are the same. Keep up the good work and I applaud your endurance.

  20. Debbie // April 8, 2010 at 7:12 PM  

    I LIKE your post!~ Good sound advise:)

  21. marina // April 8, 2010 at 7:28 PM  

    Great post and good advices!!
    Welcome to Alpha-Thursday!!!

  22. lissa // April 8, 2010 at 7:28 PM  

    though I'm not a parent, those sounds like good advice

    thanks for your visit to my alphabe-thursday

  23. JDaniel4's Mom // April 8, 2010 at 7:36 PM  

    I love your list. The tip of listing everything you need to remember is a great one.

  24. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 8:09 PM  

    Kathy,

    Good for your sweet Cait. If she is majoring in elementary education and ever needs any help, tell her to let me know!

    Blessings

  25. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 8:09 PM  

    Thanks Jo!

  26. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 8:10 PM  

    Short and sweet,

    I am finishing my 34th year....but then....I have been teaching since I was 2...lol

  27. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 8:11 PM  

    Thanks Debbie Darlin!

  28. Niki // April 8, 2010 at 8:11 PM  

    ooh for a minute I thought you were doing the A-Z challenge that I'm doing :o)

  29. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 8:11 PM  

    Thanks Marina!

  30. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 8:13 PM  

    lol lissa, I guess this post wasn't much use to you. Thanks for your comment anyway.

    Blessings

  31. Choices // April 8, 2010 at 8:13 PM  

    Great advice. I wish parents would take your tips. It would make conferences so much easier.

  32. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 8:13 PM  

    Thanks so much JDaniel's Mom. Have a great day tomorrow.

  33. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 8:14 PM  

    lol Nikki....sorry to disappoint. I will have to go check out your blog to see what that is.

    still working on your kitty pic

  34. MrsJenB // April 8, 2010 at 8:49 PM  

    What a fabulous post! I am sure that so many parents show up on the defensive, only wanting to make the teacher out to be blameworthy (if that's the case, of course - my parents are pretty much like "yeah, we know, it's his fault, he's lazy and doesn't pay attention" - referring to my baby brother). Or they don't listen to the teacher, or by the time they get home they've forgotten what was discussed.

    Great post! It's great to have you join our group!

  35. Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti // April 8, 2010 at 9:14 PM  

    What a nice blog you have! My daughter-in-law is a kindergarten teacher ...I'll have to tell her about your blog.

    It's wonderful how you were able to give such wonderful tips with so many "L's"!s'

  36. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 9:32 PM  

    Mrs.JenB,

    Actually, I have had very few parents who would fit that description. If I give a parent a chance to speak and listen to what they have to say, I get a positive response.

  37. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 9:33 PM  

    Dear Pat,

    I would love to touch base with your daughter in law. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog.

  38. Theresa Milstein // April 8, 2010 at 9:38 PM  

    L ove this post. These are good L essons for parents. Keeping communication between parents and teachers is critical. We've been on both sides!

  39. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 9:43 PM  

    Yes we have my blogging friend!

  40. Amy // April 8, 2010 at 9:49 PM  

    what a great post for sure.. I use to teach and talking with parents can be hard.. Great job..

    Have a great evening..

  41. VKT // April 8, 2010 at 9:53 PM  

    Thanks Amy,

    I appreciate your comment!

  42. Viki // April 8, 2010 at 10:28 PM  

    I don't have a child in school anymore but I did want to say how much I appreciate teachers. Most of my son's teacher's were wonderful. I have a friend who is a middle school teacher and from what she tells me it is getting harder and harder. Thank you for what you do for the kids of the future.

  43. Sarah // April 8, 2010 at 11:10 PM  

    Great advice. I taught for 30 years. Parent conferences are great tools for getting the parents involved. Wonderful post!

  44. Sara // April 9, 2010 at 12:06 AM  

    I love these tips and love Alphabet thursday. I have never seen this one before, it looks like fun!

    Saying hi back and have a great weekend!

  45. Christy // April 9, 2010 at 12:06 AM  

    well...i don't have kids...but this is really good advice...and to be honest, i think i might follow some of it next time i go to the doctor!

  46. Amanda // April 9, 2010 at 3:18 AM  

    Great tips! I wish I had known you back when my kids were in school.

  47. jaydubblah // April 9, 2010 at 7:17 AM  

    Hi thanks for your comment on my L. I don't have children so this went over my head! If you want to respond come back to mine, as I won't know if you post in your own comments page

  48. Sue // April 9, 2010 at 7:21 AM  

    Those are good tips. Especially the "list." I always get there and forget everything I wanted to say!

    It does seem crazy how little time you get at a conference - 20 minutes to talk about everything - isn't much time.


    Thanks for stopping by my blog - Hope you have a nice weekend♥

  49. Dee Crowe // April 9, 2010 at 9:34 AM  

    Hi there! enjoying your blog and returning your follow with a follow! Have a great weekend!

  50. ellen // April 9, 2010 at 10:36 AM  

    Indeed very good to make a list. I am using hat also for the doctor and any other specialist I have a conference with. Otherwise, when I am back home, I regret I forgot so many questions to ask. A good point what you make also is, make the teacher her/his compliments of taking so good care of your child.

    warm regars,
    Ellen
    www.elleninamerika.com

    Have a great weekend!

  51. Pondside // April 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM  

    This should go out in every school bag at the beginning of the school year!

  52. Tina // April 9, 2010 at 10:50 AM  

    Nice to meet you, and thanks for visiting Life is Good! I was a 7th grade math and English teacher for 8 years. Your tips are right on spot, and I wish more parents had followed them...

  53. laterg8r // April 9, 2010 at 11:51 AM  

    great tips :D

  54. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:27 PM  

    Thanks Viki! Have a great week-end!

  55. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:28 PM  

    Dear Sarah,

    How nice to meet another teacher. Thanks for stopping by!

  56. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:29 PM  

    Thanks Sarah,

    I am glad you liked them! I enjoyed participating in Alphabet Thursday as well.

  57. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:30 PM  

    Lol Christy,

    If you think it will help with your doctor appointments, by all means use it. Thanks for your comment.

  58. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:31 PM  

    Thanks Amanda! I appreciate you stopping by!

  59. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:31 PM  

    Will do Jay!

  60. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:33 PM  

    Sue,

    You can always ask for another conference to allow for more time if you don't feel that you got to say everything you needed to say. Don't hesitate to ask next time.

  61. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:35 PM  

    Thanks a bunch Dee! I appreciate it!

  62. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:37 PM  

    Thanks Ellen, my sweet blogging friend!

  63. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:37 PM  

    Thanks for your comment Pondside! I enjoyed participating in alphabet Thursday!

  64. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:39 PM  

    Dear Tina,

    I enjoyed visiting your blog and participating in Alphabet Thursday.

  65. VKT // April 9, 2010 at 11:40 PM  

    Thanks laterg8r

  66. GardenofDaisies // April 10, 2010 at 2:35 AM  

    Welcome to Alphabe-Thursday!! It's is a lot of fun! One of the best parent teacher conferences we ever had was when my daughter was in 5th grade and the teacher had the kids participate in telling the parent what was going on in school and how they thought they were doing. Mrs. H was one of my daughters favorite teachers!

  67. Betty (picture circa 1951) // April 10, 2010 at 3:32 PM  

    My kids are long out of school, but those sound like some very good tips.

  68. VKT // April 10, 2010 at 5:06 PM  

    Thanks Betty!

  69. Jenny // April 10, 2010 at 8:32 PM  

    I wish I could have had this advice when my kids were small.

    Someday I will tell the tale of possibly the worst PT ever!

    I'm going to forward this link to some families I know with little ones still on school!

    Thank you for this lovely, informative stop on my journey through Alphabe-Thursday's Letter "L"!

    And thank you for participating!

    A+

  70. Personalized Sketches and Sentiments // April 10, 2010 at 9:03 PM  

    Great advice and info :o) Our 3 are now in undergrad and dental school, but when they were growing up, I literally was at their schools as often as possible...to volunteer and help wherever...that really gave me the opportunity to be involved and build relationships with the teachers, faculty and staff...this was such a blessing that it was possible throughout the many years and many different schools (since my hubby was military, we moved frequently) and especially when our younger son in 9th grade was diagnosed with a lymphoma and had to be out of school so much for chemo-everyone was so supportive!

    Thank you for your influence and obvious caring heart as a teacher.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    (ah...trying to catch up on blog reading...as always :o) ...hope you can come by my L post :o)

  71. easternsparkle // April 11, 2010 at 2:14 PM  

    I should have had those tips a few years ago!

  72. Steph // April 12, 2010 at 8:17 AM  

    Great L post. Very helpful. Thank you.

  73. VKT // April 12, 2010 at 3:51 PM  

    Jenny,

    I would be very interested in reading that post. I hope you do write it up. I loved participating in your alphabet Thursday...thanks!

  74. VKT // April 12, 2010 at 3:53 PM  

    What a touching comment sketches!

    I am so glad that you had a supportive situation while your son was in school. I hope your son is doing well now.

    Blessings!

  75. VKT // April 12, 2010 at 3:53 PM  

    Well darn, Eastern. Thanks for stopping by anyway.

  76. VKT // April 12, 2010 at 3:54 PM  

    Thanks Steph!