Albuquerque Public Schools has set Monday and Tuesday aside to give parents a chance to meet their children’s teachers.
Meeting with your student’s teachers can be a daunting experience for many parents and guardians.
APS has rounded up the following key tips for how to make the most of family-teacher conferences.
Don’t Assume the Worst
At its core, every family-teacher conference has one goal: to help improve the connection between you, your student, and your student’s teacher. Assuming the worst can make you feel defensive and anxious, which can hamper honest discussions.
“The parent-teacher conference event is a process built into the school calendar aimed to build relationships and encourage academic performance in a collaborative effort, no matter the grade level,” said Kenneth Salazar, Principal Support Specialist in the Office of the APS Superintendent.
Prepare a List of Questions
You can prepare for family-teacher conferences by coming up with a list of questions you would like to ask your child’s teacher. Focus on your child’s learning process, classroom experience, and how you, as a family member can contribute to your child’s education. Doing so will likely help you feel more in control of the meeting, with a greater sense of personal agency.
Families should expect their teachers to have an in-depth understanding of their child’s learning process. Parents should also expect conversations regarding their child’s academic progress and suggestions for support. You can also take a look at ParentVUE before your meeting for more detailed information on how your child is performing in class.
Here are a few good examples of questions you could bring to a family-teacher conference:
- What is my child’s preferred learning style?
- How is my child progressing in school?
- How should I expect my child to study effectively outside the classroom?
- What are some habits that can help my child succeed in school?
- How is my child doing in class, emotionally?
- How well does my child collaborate with other students during class?
- How can I help make sure my child is prepared for the next school year?
Foster Genuine Connections
You should strive to communicate clearly and honestly with your student’s teacher. As Dave Roberts, Principal of Roosevelt Middle School, puts it, “Teachers really want to have an opportunity to strengthen their connection and communication with families as joint teacher-family is crucial to achieving the best outcomes for students.”
Approaching family-teacher conferences as valuable time for connecting with your student’s teachers is a great way to help build that connection and strengthen your relationship with each teacher. Principal Roberts adds, “Clear communication is key to successful conferences between teachers and families. The goal is to support students, and both families and teachers have information that the other party needs to be aware of if the student is to receive enough of the right support at school and home.”
These are just a few ways you can make any family-teacher conference more productive, less stressful, and more likely to have a lasting impact on your student’s overall education.