5 Questions to Ask at Your Next Parent-Teacher Night
Parent-teacher nights are held at most schools once a year. Interviews last about 10 – 15 minutes. They give parents an opportunity to connect with their child’s teachers and gain insight into their academic performance.
This is a great way to build a relationship with teachers, and also find out about your student’s attitude in class and social development. It allows parents to share any concerns they have and together come up with a plan to best support students.
Many parents skip this important evening because they don’t believe their child is having any issues at school. Attending parent-teacher night allows you to nip any emerging problems in the bud before they become serious. It also shows your child you care about their education.
As time is limited, it’s important to be prepared and ask the right questions. Try not to become defensive about any learning and behaviour issues raised by the teacher. The goal is to work together to resolve these issues.
Here are five questions that will help you make the most of parent-teacher night.
What are my child’s strengths?
It’s a great idea to start the interview off on a positive note by focusing on your student’s strengths. Understanding what your child enjoys and is good at allows you to come up with strategies to help them in areas where they may be having problems. It also helps create rapport between you and the teacher before you discuss more difficult issues.
What areas does my child struggle with?
This is a crucial question that will help you hone in on any areas of weakness. You should already have a good idea about your child’s best and worst subjects based on their previous report cards, but this allows you to find out in more detail what specific issues they struggle with. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions to really get to the heart of the matter.
What support services does the school offer?
Once you’ve established any problem areas, additional help may be required. Ask the teacher what they recommend. Find out what support services the school offers to assist students. Depending on the severity of the issue, they may be eligible for in-class help or a remedial program. A tutor can help identify issues and develop a program to address them.
How much homework should my child have each night?
It’s no secret that kids will sometimes skip homework or rush through it too quickly. When you have a good idea about how much homework your child should be doing you can ensure they complete it properly.
How does my child behave in class?
The purpose of this question is to understand your child’s interest level and engagement in class. Ideally, your student should be participating in lessons by regularly asking and answering questions. It’s not necessarily a cause for concern if they aren’t, as some kids enjoy learning without speaking up. You need to interpret this answer based on your child’s personality.
Does my child get along with other students?
School is about much more than academic achievement. It also prepares kids for life by teaching them how to cooperate and get along with other people. Any social issues need to be addressed as they can have long-lasting impacts. If your child struggles to make friends or is frequently involved in conflicts, you may need to look into counselling or find ways to boost their confidence and interpersonal skills.
We recommend all parents attend parent-teacher nights.