When I was teaching, I absolutely dreaded a particular parent coming to talk to me at parents evening. She had a tendency to talk at me (rather than have a conversation), she always took more than her allocated time, and I honestly don’t think she went away knowing anything useful about her child. Not great for either of us!
Whether you’re talking to your child’s teacher on the phone, by email or at the parent’s evening, you need to make the most of the short time you have with them. They’re busy (and so are you) but if you ask the right questions you’ll get all of the information you need, in the quickest time possible. That way everyone wins.
So make sure:
- You’re prepared. Make a list of things you want to ask in advance
- If things are happening at home that may affect your child at school, make sure you share them
- Come away with a clear plan of how you and your child’s teacher will communicate in the future
Here are my top 5 questions to ask:
1. IS MY CHILD MEETING THEIR AGE-RELATED EXPECTATIONS?
Focus on English, maths and science and then on other subjects.
2. IS SHE/HE MAKING GOOD PROGRESS? WHAT IMPROVEMENTS HAVE YOU SEEN? WHERE DO IMPROVEMENTS NOW NEED TO BE MADE?
Ask the teacher to be specific about your child’s knowledge, skills and attitude to learning.
3. HOW DOES MY DAUGHTER/SON GET ON WITH THEIR CLASSMATES? ARE THEY HAPPY?
Remember, your child will only fulfill their potential if they’re happy at home and school.
4. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO DEVELOP STRENGTHS AND HELP WITH HER/HIS WEAKNESSES?
This question will help you to see how well your child’s teacher knows your child and is catering for their particular needs.
5. WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
Here’s your chance to show your willingness to work in partnership with your child’s teacher. Ask her/him about how your child prefers to learn (their learning style) so that you know the best way to help.
Click here to find out more about learning styles.
Click on your child’s Age or a Subject in the main menu, to learn more about their age-related expectations.