Monthly tips for parents

The Parent-Teacher Conference

The Parent-Teacher Conference

Parent-teacher conferences are a great opportunity for families to sit down one-on-one with your child's teacher and talk about school progress. Here are some tips to make the most of this time.

Parents often find themselves at school for parent-teacher conferences around this time of year. For many families, this is your first opportunity to sit down one-on-one with your child's teacher to talk about school progress. It's important to use this time to share your impressions of the school year, and to ask any questions you might have.

Here are some questions that might help set the tone for a productive and positive conference:

  • At what level my child is currently reading? What type of growth have you seen so far this year?
  • Can you describe my child's reading? Is it fluent and expressive? Does my child read at an appropriate pace?
  • At home my child enjoys reading ___________. Can you make any other recommendations for reading material?
  • At home we try to talk about what our child has read. What other things can we do at home to help with comprehension?
  • The homework you assign typically takes about ____ minutes to complete. We feel the homework load is (too challenging, not challenging enough, just right, etc). What strategies can you recommend to make homework as effective as it can be?
  • What sorts of things can we do at home to keep our child motivated about his/her schoolwork?

Did you run out of time? It's often hard to fit it all in during one conference. If you still have unanswered questions, follow up with a written note, or schedule a second face-to-face meeting. Develop a solid relationship with your child's teacher — consider it your homework for the year!

Reading Rockets (2007)


Other questions the parent can ask could be: How does my child's grades compare to others in the class? What particular topics is my child especially interested in? How can I help my child develop these interests at home?

Many schools now use online parent-teacher conference scheduling. Parents really appreciate being able to choose the time to see the teacher. One such service is Meet the Teacher, available at

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"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables