Getting the Most out of Parent Teacher Conferences
Allan Hardy, Principal
Next week’s parent-teacher conferences are a timely opportunity for teachers to communicate with parents about how your children are growing, as both learners and people.
Meeting with parents creates some anxiety for teachers, both new and experienced. Recently, I met with a small group of teachers, who are either new to Greenwood or to the teaching profession, to help them understand how to use the conferences to communicate effectively with you about your child’s experience at Greenwood.
According to research, many parents are also anxious about teacher conferences, as having someone speak to you about your child’s progress places parents in a vulnerable position. School psychologist Michael Thompson has consulted with hundreds of independent schools throughout the world and offers some great advice on how to get the most from parent-teacher conferences.
Approach your child’s teachers as peers and partners. Our mutual goal is to help your child be successful; Greenwood is a school where teachers really care about their students.
Recognize that you know your child best: share your knowledge and experience about what motivates your child or has worked in other parts of their lives. Insights like these can be incredibly valuable for us.
Talk with teachers about how you might be able to support your child at home. All of this goes a long way toward our shared vision of helping our students happily develop in every part of their lives.
Parent-teacher conferences provide a forum for open, honest feedback. They’re a place to safely challenge ourselves and our kids to do better. As I said to teachers in my work with them on preparing for these meetings, on occasion, these conversations can be difficult. But if teachers and parents stay focused on the needs of our kids, these meetings can be handled respectfully and in the best interests of students.