Everything You Wanted to Know About Parent Teacher Conferences, But Were Afraid to Ask

Conference Etiquette

So, you've had your routine conference with the teacher, and he or she calls a special meeting. Try not to think of this as a negative.

If your child is having difficulties in the classroom, these conferences can be invaluable opportunities for dealing with those problems effectively. Of course, most parents defend their children instinctively, but this is one instance when it's a good idea to put that instinct aside. Being defensive won't help little Jane or Billy -- it will just aggravate whatever problems he or she is having.

Try to maintain that team-player attitude, and if the teacher brings up problems that he or she is having with your child, offer to work together to come up with a solution.

The idea that education doesn't end with the school bell may be cliché, but it's true nevertheless.

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  • Child Development Institute. "Establishing a Parent-Teacher Relationship." (June 23, 2010). http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/learning/parent_teacher.shtml
  • Durham Public Schools North Carolina.net. "Parent-Teacher Conferences." (June 23, 2010). http://www.dpsnc.net/parents/parent-tips/parent-teacher-conferences
  • Minke, Kathleen M. and Kellie J. Anderson. The Elementary School Journal. "Restructuring Routine Parent-Teacher Conferences: The Family-School Conference Model." The University of Delaware. (June 23, 2010). http://www.jstor.org/pss/3203049
  • MSNBC. "Kids welcome at parent-teacher conferences" Nov. 1, 2007. (June 23, 2010).http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21581575/
  • "Parent-Teacher Conferencing." University of Nebraska, Lincoln. (June 23, 2010).http://scied.unl.edu/pages/presser/sec/articles/parentconfer.html
  • Weiss, Heather B., Holly Kreider, Eliot Levine, Ellen Mayer, Jenny Stadler and Peggy Vaughan. Harvard Family Research Project "Beyond the Parent-Teacher Conference: Diverse Patterns of Home-School Communication." April 1999. (June 23, 2010).http://www.hfrp.org/publications-resources/browse-our-publications/beyond-the-parent-teacher-conference-diverse-patterns-of-home-school-communication