How to prepare for parent-teacher conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are coming up! While some of our families are pros at them, we have new families who may be attending their very first parent-teacher conference ever. If this is your case, read on. Knowing more about what to expect will help you prepare. 

Parent-teacher conferences are an opportunity for you and your child’s teachers to talk about how your child is doing in school.  The conference runs for 20 minutes. While 20 minutes may not seem like a lot of time, you will be surprised about how much you will learn about your child’s new world at school in less than half an hour.

The teachers will start the conference by giving you an update about how your child is doing as part of their community. They’ll also share what students in their community are learning and what your child’s favorite activities are. The teachers will also tell you about any concerns they have, and we encourage you to talk about any concerns that you have. Together, you will create a plan to address them. Teachers will also give you ideas on how to support your child’s learning at home. You can ask questions or make comments at any time during the conference.

To benefit as much as possible from the conference:

  • Before the conference

    • Sign up on the sheet outside your child’s community so that you reserve a time with the teachers

    • Prepare your thoughts and questions in advance

      • What has your child told you about their experiences?

      • How do they seem to feel about school?

      • What do they seem to struggle with? What do they seem to enjoy?

  • During the conference

    • Be on time. If you are late, you will end up taking time from other families and delaying the schedule for everyone. 

    • Listen carefully and take notes, so you know how to follow up. 

    • Share your observations about your child. Your insights can help the teachers work better with them. Also, share any information that may affect your child’s life and how they do at school (e.g., changes in the family, such as having a baby, a separation or divorce, etc.). 

    • Ask questions. Teachers understand that you want to get a better picture of your child’s life at school. They welcome any questions you may have about the community, specific lessons, how your child is doing, etc. 

Questions you may want to ask:

  • How is my child adjusting to being in their community?

  • What kind of relationships does my child have with other students? 

  • Who are they playing with?

  • How do they seem emotionally?

  • Is my child learning what they should be learning at this point?

  • Is my child participating in activities?

  • What have you noticed are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?

  • Are there areas where my child needs extra help?

    • If so, how can they get this help?

  • How can I support what my child does at LAMB at home?

  • How can I support the Montessori approach at home?

  • When is a good time to talk with you if I have questions? 

  • How should I contact you?

  • What can I do to help the community? 

Once you get home, talk with your child about what you learned at the conference. Include any ideas the teachers suggested you try at home. 

Maria-Jose Carrasco