Find four tips for having effective parent-teacher conferences

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Parents who are looking for effective ways to support their children’s academic progress should be sure to take advantage of January parent-teacher conferences.

Parent-teacher conferences for elementary students are tonight.

The conferences are an opportunity for parents to check in with their child’s teachers, discuss their child’s classroom behavior, homework habits, and other factors that can impact student progress.

Consider these tips to get the most from conferences:

  1. Most schools will hand out first semester report cards at the January conferences. Report cards are a snapshot of students’ progress and can serve as a good conversation starter. Whatever the grades, there’s always room for improvement, and parents can use the opportunity to discuss areas where students are struggling and get tips on ways to challenge and motivate their children.
  1. Conferences are also a good time for parents and teachers to work together to develop a plan of action to support students’ learning. This might take the form of an agreement where parents commit to what they will require at home and the teacher outlines projects, deadlines and what will be covered at school.
  1. Working as a team, teachers and parents can ensure that students are learning what’s required at each grade level. This kind of cooperation is crucial as students prepare to take state-mandated exams. Many schools will provide before- and after-school tutoring in the weeks leading up to the tests. Ask about tutoring and whether other resources are available to help students outside of school hours.
  1. Parents who can’t attend conferences on the designated day should know they can call the school to schedule a conference with their child’s teacher. And if meeting face to face is difficult, parents shouldn’t hesitate to ask teachers for other ways to receive updates on their student’s progress.
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