March brings on another bi-annual activity in most households: the spring parent-teacher conference. My husband and I enjoy these meetings and get a lot of good information about our daughter’s progress in school. What is there not to enjoy about hearing someone talk about what your little girl is learning and how well she is doing? Before going further, a nod to all of the teachers who prepare extensive reports for these meetings. From your child’s academic successes and challenges to her expanding horizons and social interactions, done correctly, these meetings give us insight to her early strengths and weaknesses.
The conference at our school is with our daughter’s homeroom teachers, but we are also invited to visit with the teachers who work with her in science, music, physical education, art, math, and, of course, reading. Some parents meet only with the homeroom teachers who provide the overall report with input from all of the other subject teachers. We try and meet with all of our daughter’s teachers-even her physical education teacher because it enhances parent-teacher communication, and like all of us, teachers respond better to those who are interested.
The conferences at this age are a pleasure. I say this knowing that we all face the challenges ahead. Our school houses the lower and upper school population in one building; middle school, in a separate building. As I look at the faces of the parents of the upper school girls and the girls themselves, I can see the strain and pressure of the competitive academic environment. Perhaps that is one of the best reasons to participate in parent-teacher conferences early and regularly because the consistency of parental support is so reassuring to the process.
So the best advice for parent-teacher conferences? Go early, go regularly, and go eagerly. Your attitude about these meetings-starting at the ages of our classy girls-sets a precedent for these meetings for years to come. Relish in the good news and work through any issues before they become problems. It creates a win-win-win for you, your classy girl, and her teachers.
Healthful Mom, Deborah Hernan
Creator & Founder of Ottilie & Lulu skin and hair care for tween girls