10 Must-Ask Questions for Parent Teacher Conferences

teacher in classroom conferenceIt's that time of year again! Parent teacher conferences offer a great opportunity to forge a partnership with your child's teacher and receive important feedback. To maximize the one-on-one time, try asking these top ten questions.

1.  How are grades determined in your classroom? In other words, how much weight is placed on tests, projects, homework, etc.?

2.  What can I do at home to reinforce what you are teaching in the classroom?

3.  How is my child doing socially? Does he get along well with students? Does he make friends easily or with difficulty?

4.  May I tell you about my child? You know your child best, so take a moment to give your child's teacher information on what motivates your child, likes and dislikes, and any other information that would help the teacher better understand your son or daughter.

5.  Is my child performing work on grade level? When the teacher shows you samples of your child's work, ask how it compares to grade-level standards. However, stay away from comparison to other students; each child is unique.

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6.  How can I help? You and your teacher are in this together, so ask what you can do to assist him or her. Maybe there are supplies needed, prep work that can be done at home, or help needed in the classroom.

7.  What's the best way to get in touch with you? Does he or she prefer emails, phone calls or written notes?

8.  Does my child's participation in class meet your expectations? Does he or she keep up with homework assignments, stay on task, and communicate well in class?

9.  How can I know on a daily basis what homework has been assigned? Are students responsible for writing it down somewhere, or does the teacher keep a record of it online somewhere? Also, how long should homework typically take each night?

10.  Does my child need extra help in any area? Armed with that information, you can look for opportunities at home to fill in the gaps or even get a tutor to help.

A parent teacher conference is an opportunity to get to know your child's teacher, better understand how your child connects in class, and express your support for the teacher.

To read more tips for staying organized this school year, visit our school organizing resource page.

Janis Meredith writes Jbmthinks, a blog on sports parenting and youth sports. After being a coach's wife for 29 years and a sports parent for 21, she sees issues from both sides of the bench.