BY KYLEEN GRAY
Parent-teacher interviews can be a bit like playing poker – you’ve got to know when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em, when to walk away and when to run. These 5-minute bites of time can either form a fantastic working relationship between parents and teachers or destroy any possibility of a partnership. Follow these tips to ensure yours are a success!
Bring your child’s report card or interim report with you, as well as a couple specific questions you’d like the teacher to answers.
2. Be Aware of Time Constraints
If there has been a scheduled time for the interview, be aware of it and stick to it. If it’s a drop in type of interview then be cognizant of the line forming – if there isn’t one, chat away; if there is, keep it quick. Use the
3. Positivity Sandwich
If you have negative feedback to share, start with a positive comment, then deliver the negative snippet and follow up quickly with a resolution to the potential problem. This approach will stop the teacher from feeling attacked, which would cause them to go on the defensive.
4. Don’t Question Teacher Observations
Teachers are your right hand in parenting your child this school year. When they tell you something about your child, they aren’t lying; they genuinely care about your child’s success and are trying to communicate information they feel is important. Don’t question their honesty regarding your child’s behaviour or progress.
5. Avoid a Hostile Public Interview
At times parents know that there is going to be a conflict at a parent-teacher interview due to either a prior issue or a low student grade. Parent-teacher interviews are NOT the place to engage in this more challenging conference. If you know your interview may head in this direction, contact the teacher to schedule a more private and lengthy meeting at another time.