Are you wondering how your child is doing in school? Do you have a Parent-Teacher Conference coming soon? If so, this blog post is just for you! I’m Mrs. Do and today I’m sharing something new! Here are some questions that you can take with you at your child’s next parent-teacher conference.
Just a little recap about myself- I am both a teacher by day and a mompreneur at all sorts of times in the day. I am and have been a teacher for 16 years now. I’ve taught mostly primary grades- kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. Since I’ve been in the field of education for so many years, the one question that many of my friends always ask me is – What should I ask at a Parent-Teacher Conference? I wanted to share the love, so decided to write a blog post dedicated to this one question.
As a teacher for soooo many years, I can tell you for a fact that your child’s early learning foundation paves way to their overall academic success in life. I like to compare this to a little seed. The more time and effort that you invest in your little seed, the stronger and hardier their roots will be for the overall plant to grow and develop into something beautiful!! I’ve listed some very important questions below divided into two parts: academic and social/emotional. Way back then, academics were the utmost important aspect in education. Nowadays, so as to nurture and encourage growth and development in the whole child, their social and emotional learning is of major importance, alongside academics.
Here are the first set of questions related to your child’s academic learning that you can discuss with their teacher:
How did he/she score on his/her benchmark assessments in reading, writing, and math? If your child’s teacher didn’t share this with you, this is definitely something that will keep you aware of how they’re meeting their grade level goals. Benchmark assessments are tests that your child takes towards the end of a quarter or semester to determine whether they are far, close, or have met their grade level goal.
- Where should my child be at this time in the year and are they on target at meeting the end of the year goals? This question is very much related to the first. Every grade level has a goal in all subject areas as dictated by state standards. Asking this question gives you an idea as to where your child is in terms of meeting the goals of their grade, so as to prepare them for the next school year.
- How can I prepare her/him for next school year? Since your child’s teacher has an idea of what the next grade level will focus on, just asking this question gives you an idea of what you could do at home to start the foundations for next school year.
- Can I see some of her/his work samples in reading/writing/math/etc.? If this hasn’t been shown to you during your conference/meeting, it’s a good idea to ask as it gives you an idea of how your child works independently or not.
- What are some of my child’s areas of improvements and what can I do at home to support her/his learning? Knowing this fact can readily encourage your child’s success as you work in partnership with your child’s teacher. Utilizing the strategies that are done in the classroom while at home provides the consistency and practice that they need to continue to grow.
Without further ado, here are the questions related to your child’s social and emotional learning that you can ask their teacher, if it hasn’t already been answered:
- How focused/attentive is she/he during group work time and independent work time? This is an important question to ask just to gain insight on how your child pays attention, their work habits when they complete a task (i.e. how they persevere through), and how their teamwork capabilities are when engaging in a group activity.
- Does my child ask for help or does he/she express her needs? This could be anything as simple as your child asking to use the restroom, getting a drink of water, to more complex such as asking for help on a task, asking for help to solve a problem, etc.
- How are his/her coping skills and how does she aim to problem solve? I find this to be one of the most important question in regards to social and emotional development. I believe that positive coping mechanisms are learned and practiced. Problem solving is difficult for kids at a young age. In fact, I think this is learned through guidance and practice. Knowing how your child is problem solving at school in times when situations aren’t at their best is a good indication of your child’s coping skills.
- How is she/he when interacting with her peers? Something that I’ve learned about kids over the years from teaching AND with having my own at home is that they act differently around their teachers, their friends/peers, and their parents. Asking this question gives you an idea of how your child is around kids their age and how they demonstrate friendship and teamwork.
- Is she/he on track with her/his social and emotional development? Everyone develops at their own pace. However, there are some goals at every age that your child needs to meet socially and emotionally.
- What can I do at home to support my child socially and emotionally? With this question, the teacher may offer tips/techniques/strategies that they may know that works for your child at school that may work for her/him at home. Furthermore, you are showing your support and partnership to encourage and foster a healthy socio-emotional development for your child when not at school.
There you have it! It’s definitely a long list, so you are welcome to pick and choose what is appropriate for your Parent-Teacher Conference. Many of these questions will most likely be answered by the teacher. If not, you’ve got this to refer to. Wishing you the best of luck at your next Parent-Teacher meeting!