3 Simply Strategies For Positive Parent-Teacher Interviews
Do you find parent interview a little intimidating? Perhaps it brings back memories of your school days and strict teachers? When you arrive at the interview you seem to be at a loss for words. Feeling nervous you enter the classroom and wonder what it is going to be about.
At this point try to remember it is your child being discussed and the interview is for the mutual benefit of everyone involved. The key players are you, the teacher and your child.
Three simple strategies will help turn the interview into a positive experience.
- Be prepared – do YOUR homework
- Be open-minded – ask questions and be open to challenging replies
- Be positive- ask for help and follow up.
This helps you to ask the right questions and to be focused on your child’s issues. Take out some reports from the past and see the problem areas mentioned before. Talk to your child and get an idea of any problems he/she maybe having. Knowing weaknesses and strengths will help with asking the right questions.
Write down the concerns you may have and prioritise the most important. Ask questions about how things are done, as your child progresses subjects will change. Go into the interview with one important thing in mind – wanting the best for your child. Make sure you arrive on time and leave younger siblings at home if possible.
BE OPEN MINDED
This gives you the opportunity to listen, ask your questions and be objective. Try to ask what, where, when type of questions and avoid why questions. Why, directed at a person, can appear to be assertive. You want your questions to be constructive and leading but not confrontational. Engage with the teacher in an interested manner as you aim to get the best value from the interview for your child. Find out what are the challenges facing your child in this grade. Is it a subject or is it social? Find out if your child is concentrating, responsible and has good communication skills. Be ready to listen to what the teacher has to say about your child on a day to day basis.
This gives you a huge advantage and you will get more benefit from the interview if you approach your child’s teacher with a positive frame of mind. Ask how you could help your child if there are problems. Find out from the teacher what are your child’s weaknesses and strengths. Ask if your child needs extra help or can you work on the problem at home. Is it a behavioral problem or a learning problem? Be honest about any issues you may have relating to your child’s progress. If you feel the need to see the teacher again set up a follow-up interview to continue to keep the discussion open.
The parent-teacher interview is the right platform for setting goals that will benefit your child. When you get the best out of the interview you should walk away feeling that this was a win-win situation and you found a positive way forward.
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