Parent-teacher interviews are one way for parents to participate in the school system. An important opportunity to find out about your child’s progress, interviews are not just for parents of students who are struggling. They are generally held twice a year at the end of the first and second terms. The interviews are generally 10-15 minutes in length, therefore parents are encouraged to come prepared with questions.
In preparation for the interview, be sure to review your child’s report cards and not any concerns or questions about the marks or corresponding comments for each section.
During the interview, the teacher will review the report card with you and show you samples of your child’s work.
• What does my child do well?
• What skills does my child need to develop further?
• What activities can we do at home to strengthen those skills?
• Does my child do his/her homework and assignments efficiently and conscientiously?
• Is my child facing any struggles in class not related to her/his schoolwork?
• Is my child receiving additional help?
• How does my child get along with other students?
• What is the best way to contact you if we have more questions?
Remember that interpreters for Parent Teacher Interviews are available at all schools. Don’t hesitate to let your child’s teacher know that you need help to communicate in English.
Don’t miss this opportunity to support your child’s education.
• Talk to your child about school before the interview. Ask how they think they are doing and how the teacher can help them meet their goals.
• Go over their homework. Get an idea of what the curriculum is like, the level your child is working at, and areas where they are struggling.
• Decide what you want to know. Make a list of what you want to know before you go into the interview. You can even prepare questions ahead of time if it will make you feel more at ease. Knowing what you want to know and writing it down ensures that you don’t forget anything, and that you get the information you need.
• Be open and honest. Feel free to add your own observations around your child’s behaviour, strengths and weaknesses.
• Find out what they’re learning. Ask curriculum questions, find out what your child has learned and what is coming up in the term ahead. Know the skills your child will need to be successful in the term ahead (i.e. knowing how to multiply and divide fractions).
• Ask about strengths and weaknesses and possible problems. Find out about problems before they happen. Building on weaknesses allows students to help before they fall behind.
• Ask about homework policies. Find out how often and how much homework is being assigned. Also ask if your child is completing his/her homework regularly, how long the work assigned should take to complete and does the teacher correct the homework regularly. The answers to these questions will help you better monitor your child’s homework habits.
• How can you work together. Ask what you can do at home to help your child. Make a commitment to support your child by monitoring their homework, and helping them lean specific skills.