Parent-teacher interviews are a fantastic opportunity for you to build a relationship with your child’s school and their teacher and a little thought ahead of the meeting will help you to get the most from your time there.
It is a great idea to come prepared, often interviews are only 10-15 minutes so it is important you think about any questions you would like to ask before the meeting.
First parent-teacher interview
If the school year has just begun, this is a great chance to get to know your child’s teacher. Every teacher is different and this is a fantastic opportunity to understand their approach to teaching and learning. You could ask how they structure the day to day running of the classroom, what the expectations are for homework, the behaviour management policy (in the classroom and the school) and how they use rewards (e.g. positive reinforcement etc.).
Often interviews are held after the half yearly report has been sent home. If this is the case, familiarize yourself with their report and make sure you have thought of any questions you would like to ask about it.
A productive meeting will give you an idea of your child’s strengths but also areas in which they can develop further. Ask your teacher what these areas are and if there is anything you can be doing at home to help support this development.
Take any feedback on board; remember this is not a criticism of your child or your parenting, the teacher has your child’s best interests at heart so wants them to reach their full potential.
What should you focus on?
Academics are important but this is also a good chance to understand how your child interacts socially and to understand their behaviour at school (do they listen well, follow instructions, show respect to others, display good sportsmanship, show resilience and persistence in their attitude to work etc.). These skills help to develop well rounded individuals.
Remember to have an open mind; children often behave differently in a school setting to how they do at home.
If you find you have a lot of questions that you would like to discuss further and you run out of time in the interview, ask to book a face to face or phone meeting at a later date. Interviews are often only booked in for 10-15 minutes so there will not be a lot of time for in depth discussions.
Even if you feel like there are no issues to discuss this is a fantastic opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, see your child’s classroom and also see some samples of your child’s work.
Communication is really important with your child’s teacher so meeting them is a great start to establish a connection and children love knowing you have seen the space that they spend so much time in!