How to Have an Effective Parent-Teacher Conference*

By Pepper, Susan | Children's Voice, September/October 2004 | Go to article overview

How to Have an Effective Parent-Teacher Conference*


Pepper, Susan, Children's Voice


* With (Relatively) Little Stress

Attending your child's parent-teacher conference can be one of life's more stressful events. All parents get a bit defensive when discussing their children with someone who is practically a stranger. The environment can amplify this tension. Walking down the school's waxed corridors can cause old emotions to surface-a favorite teacher, an unpleasant experience with a principal, difficulty with an academic subject. Squeezing into a student desk or miniature chair can further diminish a parent's stature in discussing student progress.

This is not neutral territory. Teachers, even in this day and time, are authority figures. They can control volumes of students with a raised eyebrow. Grown men and women arrive with sweaty palms and leave with questions unanswered about their most precious child due to sheer unease and nervousness.

Often, parents worry that a candid discussion may have a negative effect on how their children are treated in the classroom. And parents may have already heard an earful from their children about every aspect of the school's operations-from food to unfair practices in physical education to perceived teachers' pets. Negotiating a truce to a world war pales in comparison to the diplomacy parents must muster.

Navigating parent-teacher conferences can be tricky, but hopefully these suggestions can make your next meeting more productive for your child and less stressful for you:

* Avoid bringing siblings or other children to the conference. In general, it's not a good idea to include the student herself. This time is for caring adults to discuss the academic progress of this child only. The distraction of other children running around the room detracts from this mission.

* Start with something positive, perhaps an area in which your child is excelling, or something complimentary about the teacher, such as, "His writing is showing improvement this year." Find something nice to set the tone. And end with something positive as well. A simple, "We appreciate your help with our child," will suffice. The tough issues belong in the middle of the meeting.

* Carefully phrase problems as "concerns." For example, "She has no idea what you're teaching in math!" is more antagonistic in tone than, "I'm concerned about her math progress and want to help in any way that I can. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How to Have an Effective Parent-Teacher Conference*
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.