Before you begin, take time to pray over a few things. Pray for the teachers as they work with your child. Pray specifically for your conference and that it would be a time to partner together for the success of your child. Pray for your relationship with your child's teacher(s), for wisdom concerning your child, and in thanksgiving for all the ways God has grown your child.
You have partnered with your child’s school to educate your child. With this partnership, come expecting to hear from someone who loves your child, desires the best for your child and desires to work with you to grow your child in all areas. Come with an appreciation for this partnership and guard it for the treasure it is.
Prepare some questions ahead of time. Think about the things that are going really well with your child and then your top 2 or 3 concerns. Be ready to talk about those. Also be ready to listen to what the teacher sees as strengths and weaknesses. Remember they are there to work with you. Often kids act differently at home than at school, so don't be surprised if what you see at home isn't exactly what the teacher sees.
Give some thought ahead of time to areas in which you would like to see your child grow. "Does Susie need to improve her reading comprehension skills? What can we do together to help her achieve that improvement?" Your child's teachers want to know your concerns and hopes for your child. They will share their experiences and perspective with you. If you have hard questions or concerns, plan ahead of time how to raise these concerns graciously and in love.
During your conference, look at your student’s goals from last year and the progress that’s been made. Let the teacher (and your child) know what you’re encouraged about! Discuss their strengths and spiritual growth. If your conference is student led, your child may have also considered ways that he or she has transformed. Discuss openly with him or her any goals for growth in the areas of school work, spiritual walk, and relationships.
Your teachers know that you are giving up important time to meet with them. Evenings and an entire day of instructional time are sacrificed. If your child is in high school then parents and students should look up and print their grades and details for each course for which a meeting is to be held. If a test, paper, or other work is to be a point of discussion at the conference, then that should also be reviewed and discussed beforehand, and brought to the meeting.
The partnership with your child’s teacher is precious ... everyone should come to the meeting well-prepared, with the same information. Productive conversations that include the student can then proceed. You are going to have a great Parent/Teacher conference!
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Written by Misty McRady in collaboration with
AACS Teachers and Educational Support Staff