Children will soon receive their latest report card, and parent-teacher conferences
are under way. As a veteran educator, I like to provide parents with the following
advice to improve parent-teacher conferences and communications. It includes
practicing the 3 -P’s: “Prepare”, “Plan”, and “Persevere”.
This might seem simple at a glance, but it is a thorough approach to improving
Parents will need to have done their homework regarding the child’s curriculum,
and the required skills expected at his grade level. A check list or series of
questions should be prepared prior to the conference and based on the child’s
performance so far this school year. If at all possible, parents should attempt
to provide these questions for the teacher prior to the actual conference.
This way, due to the limited time that is often given in most conferences, the meeting
will be directed to specifics rather than general observations. Parents also should
not wait for an invitation to hold a conference but request one as they see needed.
Both parents should attend the conference if at all possible, with one parent
doing most of the talking while the other one can take notes.
A plan of action must be established upon leaving the conference, so that the teacher,
parent, and child are clear on expectations and responsibilities. This plan needs to
include understanding and addressing all skills to be learned, reinforced, and mastered.
An open dialogue between parents and teacher must remain positive and active even
after the conference has ended. Ultimately, it takes continual teamwork from all
parties to obtain successful results.
After an action plan has been established and agreed upon, benchmarks with assigned
target dates need to be established so that the teacher and parent can provide the
necessary support to the child to achieve these goals. Short term goals with an assigned
time line for reaching them along with a reward system will produce results.
Children will also acquire the intrinsic motivation needed to persevere and reach
-Champion Parenting/Building Leaders for Life