Parent Teacher Conferences: Why Have Them?
Parent Teacher Conferences: Why have them?
It used to be that if parents wanted to know their children’s grades, they had to attend a parent teacher conference to receive the grade card. With sycamore, parents now have access to grades anytime. So what is the purpose for these short meetings we have two times a year? Is it that teachers love being at school so much, that we relish an evening spent in our classrooms? Or is it just a good excuse for mom to get out of the house by herself for a few minutes? Let me give you three reasons parent teacher conferences are a valuable part of each school year.
- Conferences provide feedback from a valuable team member.
Grandparents, Sunday school teachers, family, friends…they are all a part of the child rearing team you as parents lead. School teachers, especially Christian school teachers, are a valuable part of this team. They spend a lot of time with your child in an environment where your child is relatively comfortable. Teachers see students succeed, fail, and struggle. They observe them interacting with peers and other adults. Christian school teachers are praying for your child and desire to seem him or her grow academically, but our teachers are also concerned with your child’s emotional, social and spiritual growth. As parents, we all know we have blind spots. We see them in other people’s children and wonder what other people see in our children. Really listen to what your child’s teacher is saying. You might hear a gentle bit of advice that will help you see a blind spot. More often, as parents, we are well aware of our children’s strengths and weaknesses. You child’s teacher may confirm what you already believe to be true. This affirmation can help shape the direction you give your child.
- Conferences provide an opportunity for parents to ask good questions and share concerns.
Come to parent teacher conferences prepared to listen, but also prepared to ask good questions. School is a great place for children to learn to respond to authority besides Mom and Dad, so ask, “How is my child responding to your authority?” It’s also a good time to ask about social interaction. “How does my child do when interacting with classmates?” Other questions that can help your child be successful in school might be, “What can I do at home to help my child meet your expectations?” “What is my child’s attentiveness like and have you noticed any patterns in this?” You should also feel free to share concerns with your child’s teacher. Good communication between home and school is invaluable.
- Conferences provide an opportunity for you to pray with your child’s teacher.
Teachers try to begin each conference with prayer for you, your child, and the conference. What better way could you spend time with your child’s teacher than in prayer for your child? It’s okay for you to pray too. Ask your child’s teacher if you can also pray if that is something you are comfortable doing. It allows the teacher to hear your heart for your child. It also allows you to pray for your child’s teacher in front of them. The biggest encouragement you can give your child’s teacher is to pray for her.
We look forward to spending a valuable fifteen minutes with each one of you next week!
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