With a new class this year, or maybe a different school – what’s the best way for parents to support their children in the classroom? The answer is a three-way teacher, parent, student partnership.
Parent-teacher interviews benefit students, are useful for teachers and reassuring for parents. It is an opportunity to discuss what the child is achieving, has done well or not so well and why.
The first step is to find out the school’s parent-teacher interviews policy – how often they are held, how they are structured and the opportunities for separate discussions about specific issues. It’s useful for parents to prepare for the interview by writing down concerns and asking what the son or daughter thinks should be raised. After the meeting, have a chat at home and make a note of what will need to be discussed again later.
It is not just a one-way conversation. Parents can learn about progress at school but it is also an opportunity to share with the teacher the child’s individual learning style, as well as what they like and what they are finding difficult. Concerns about homework can be talked through. It will be useful for a teacher to hear how much time is actually being spent on tasks at home. A date can be set for the next meeting to follow-up on agreed actions.
The aim of the meeting is to establish how parents can support the teacher or teachers. The partnership benefits all, but in the end it’s about achieving the best possible educational outcomes and happy students.