There are many opportunities to have a conversation with your child’s teacher throughout the school year. The most formal time would be during the parent-teacher conferences. At this meeting, you have the chance for a lengthier discussion as well as the teacher having supporting information readily available. During this meeting, parents can ask a lot of questions and if the student is able at attend the conference, they will be able to provide insight to some of the answers.
Below are some examples of questions you might ask:
How is my child performing in class?
Does he/she actively participate in class discussions?
What are the standards that are expected to be met during the year?
How can we support our child at home to help accomplish the current goals in the classroom?
How does he/she interact with his/her classmates?
Who are my child’s friends?
Are there any opportunities for me (us) to assist in the classroom to help all students reach their potential?
Does my child finish assignments on time?
What are my child’s strengths?
What are my child’s weaknesses?
What is my child’s favorite subject?
What is my child’s least favorite subject?
How do you discipline in the classroom?
Is my child respectful?
How does he/she interact with you and other adults?
There are many other chances to discuss your child’s performance with his or her teacher throughout the year. Teachers are very busy, but are eager to talk with parents in order to help the child achieve. Going in before school or meeting after school can allow for a casual discussion about the child’s performance. During these meetings, it is acceptable to discuss how the child is generally performing in the class. Also, it is a great time to revisit some of the past projects the child has completed. (“Jennie worked very hard on her report about South Africa. She was very proud of her work and we are very proud of her.”) This is not the time to discuss behavior problems or other issues that passers-by need not hear. If there are more sensitive topics that need to be discussed, you should schedule a time with the teacher to meet. Collaborating with your child’s teacher will help your student know he/she has a larger support network to rely on.