Tips on Preparing Yourself to Meet Your Child’s Teacher

Let’s face it – your child is not going to breeze through each school year without problems. There will come a point when there are issues with attendance, homework, a classmate or even a particular teacher’s approach to dealing with the kids under his or her charge. When that point comes, some level of parent teacher collaboration is going to be called for.

The #1 mental block most of us experience at this imminent parent teacher interview is our own possibly stressed childhood memories of teachers. The teacher may still represent an authority figure with certain veto powers (in this case pertaining to your child rather than you). If this is a problem for you, consciously approach the situation in an adult manner. Mature adults set up meetings to address problems and arrive at solutions. The best kind of parent teacher interview takes place in a spirit of information exchange. It pays to keep in mind that since both the parent and teacher ultimately want what is best for the child, there is a common goal.

It is sad that many parents commit set up parent teacher tête-à-têtes without consulting the child on the issues to be discussed. You have your viewpoint on the child’s bad marks, those pulled braids or that student’s missing Matchbox car, and the teacher will obviously have hers – but has anyone asked the child about the situation? Even if this particular parent teacher interaction is not going to be about such a dicey subject, your child can still guide you on the teacher’s temperament, and the school’s general protocol for such meetings.

Before you go to meet your child’s teacher, formulate the questions you will want to ask. If you don’t, you may wind up wasting time on peripheral and inconsequential issues. Also, do not go to such a parent teacher meeting armed merely with a set of problems to state – show that you’ve done your homework and propose some solutions, as well. The teacher will respect you for that, and gaining this respect is important for future meetings.

Be punctual. For sure, you’ve torn this hour-and-a-half out of your busy schedule, but your child’s teacher works full time at the school and has various other commitments. Also, dress well for the occasion. This will not only make you feel more in charge of yourself but also make a better impression on the teacher.

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