Presenation "Tips for a Successful Parent/Teacher Conference"

Presentation offered tips for a successful Parent/Teacher Conference

For the first time ever, Port Chester Public Schools are hosting virtual Parent/Teacher conferences for elementary school parents. The sessions will be held throughout the day on Wednesday, Jan. 13. 

On Jan. 11, the district hosted a virtual presentation, titled “Tips for a Successful Parent/Teacher Conference,” to prepare parents for what to expect when they have a video meeting or phone call with their child’s teacher.   

The bilingual presentation was hosted by Alexandra Martin, the community school coordinator, and Melissa Cruz, bilingual instructional specialist, who translated the information. Together, the two hosts provided reminders and tips to ensure that the conferences are successful. 

Before the conference: 

  • Check your child’s work
  • Talk to your child before the Conference
  • Make a list

“Have an idea of what your child is doing,” Ms. Martin said, suggesting that parents talk to their child about their schoolwork and learn if there are any areas that he/she/they is struggling with. 

Making a list is a great way to remember what topics to discuss with the teacher and to ensure that parents don’t miss any questions that they may have. 

During the conference: 

  • Be punctual
  • Ask questions
  • Be focused
  • Make a plan

Being punctual is important so that parents can maximize the short amount of time they have with their child’s teacher, Ms. Martin said. Focusing on specific areas of discussion will also help make the most of the allotted time. 

“Go in there with your agenda,” Ms. Martin said. “Discuss not just academics but your child’s social-emotional learning as well.” 

 “This is a collaborative effort with the teacher,” Ms. Martin said. “Discuss what the plan will be for the long term. You really want it to be a concrete plan.” 

During the conference 

  • Give insight

Ms. Martin encouraged parents to share any issues that may be occurring at home that could impact a student’s work. This could be a financial crisis or divorce. Specific details are not required but the information can help teachers to better understand why a student may be struggling or performing poorly. In addition, there are resources available that a teacher can share with families, if needed. 

After the conference 

  • Talk to your child
  • Create a plan together
  • Follow up

“This conversation does not end just because the conference is over,” Ms. Martin said. “It’s good to continue that conversation and tweak it.” 

People often think conferences are teacher-directed, Ms. Martin said. However, they are collaborative, and parents and teachers can determine how best to help the child. 

“Some may feel that it is not right to ask questions of a teacher – they are the experts,” she said. “But it really is a collaborative effort. Everyone is working together for your child’s success in school.”