Parent-Teacher Conferences @ Perry

With the start of October, I wanted to take a moment to provide some information regarding Parent-Teacher Conferences that occur in November and what you could do to better prepare yourselves for conferences on November 7 and November 15. Electronic signup form will be available soon. 

Parent-Teacher Conference at Perry Elementary will start at 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Each conference will be scheduled for 15 minutes. Students will be dismissed at the normal time (2:05 p.m.) both days. 

We are looking at having 90% or better of parent participation with parent-teacher conferences.
Get Your Child's Feedback
Your child's impressions about classwork and friendships can let you know how he feels about school. Start with questions about the books he reads or which kids he interacts with; from there, a child will begin to describe other aspects of his day. Casual chats can also show your child's level of vocabulary development. If the news isn't what you were hoping, bring any concerns to the teacher's attention. Together, you can discuss how these experiences are affecting school performance. If your child complains about the teacher, keep a record of each instance and compile as many facts about the relationship as you can. For instance, volunteering to be a field trip chaperone is an excellent opportunity to view their interactions firsthand. With specific instances in mind, it's easier to discuss issues with the teacher in a professional manner, without emotional reaction. If there is a bigger problem that needs an objective mediator, consult the guidance counselor, who may be able to offer additional suggestions to improve your child's experience.

Write a List of Questions
One-on-one time with a teacher is often limited (about a half hour or less), so prepare a list of topics and questions to prevent discussions from wandering. "During a conference, a parent should expect a clear explanation of classroom rules and procedures from the teacher, as well as what your child will be expected to learn," says Jan Lacina, Associate Professor of Literacy at Texas Christian University. 

Always Take Notes
It's common for parents to think they'll remember everything, but get the most out of your discussion by taking notes. Jotting down answers to your questions, a teacher's thoughts and suggestions, and ideas to enhance your child's development will be helpful for review later. You can also write or type up any questions you have beforehand and then cross each one off as it's answered. Make sure all of your concerns are addressed, but if something was missed, set up a follow-up meeting. Notes are particularly helpful if a parent is nervous or pressed for time and worried about absorbing everything.

Keep in Touch
Whether a conference ends up being productive or disappointing, keep an ongoing and open communication between yourself and your child's teacher. At the end of the meeting, find out how to stay in contact – whether through email, phone calls, or social networking sites. Although email is a popular choice, use it with caution – information and tone of voice can be misconstrued, and emails may accidentally get lost in the junk mail folder. "Email is not always the best way to communicate – especially if it's about a problem. There are times when it might be better to pick up the phone," Lacina says. By keeping in touch, parents and teachers will be informed when changes occur at home or at school, so they can make adjustments to get back on track.