1. Bring a written list of questions that you may have about classroom procedures, homework, grading, etc.
2. Stay on topic. The conference is set up so you can discuss your child’s progress with the teacher. You shouldn’t get into a discussion about your child’s siblings academics, or your personal life unless it affects your child’s ability to perform at school.
3. Find out what you can do to help your child at home to be successful at school.
4. Be open-minded. We all want our children to succeed and sometimes it’s hard to hear that they are behind or disruptive in class.
5. It’s ok to ask how your child is performing in relation to the rest of the class. “Which reading group is my son in?” “How is my daughter doing in math compared to the other students in the class?” “Is she average, below or above in social skills?” These are all appropriate questions to ask.
6. Find out what excites your child about learning. Is she a math wiz or perhaps a future author, artist or scientist? Ask the teacher in order to get a better insight into your child’s strengths and interests.
7. If your child has behavior issues, offer to follow up at home. Ask for behavior notes and let your child know that misbehavior at school will have consequences at home.
8. Remember that a teacher’s time is as valuable as your own. He or she probably has more than twenty conferences. An efficient conference should last 15-20 minutes tops.
9. If a teacher gives you advice or tips on how to work with your child in a subject area, follow that advice. She has the professional insight to know what kind of a learner your child is and how to best teach to his individual needs.
10. If you’re able to, offer your time to help out in class or do some prep work at home.