Meeting teachers to discuss your child's progress or behaviour can be daunting, but there's no need to feel anxious. Remember, you and the school are partners in your child's learning.
Whether it's regular parent -teacher interviews or a one-off request for a chat, these useful tips will help you get the most out of your meeting.
Do your homework
Take a few minutes before your meeting to jot down any questions or comments you have.
Go with the right attitude
Try to approach the interview with a positive and relaxed attitude. Don't be afraid to raise your concerns but give the teacher the opportunity to fully explain their thoughts.
Walk away with an agreed plan
There may be times when the news isn't all good. If the teacher raises issues about your child's learning, development or behaviour, your goal will be to understand how he or she plans to manage that during the school day and how you can provide support at home.
Plan to communicate
The parent-teacher interview is not the only time you can discuss your child with the teacher, but many parents find it's their only opportunity to visit the school. Ask the teacher how you can best communicate with each other in the future.
Don't let issues brew
Don't leave it until you're upset or very worried before you contact the school. Stay in touch with the teacher as best you can and when a concern arises, send a note to say you need to chat.
Teachers like to talk about the good stuff too
If you don't go to parent teacher interviews, you're also missing out on the chance to hear really positive things about your child they may not tell you themselves.
You may need to get others involved
If you've talked to the teacher and still aren't satisfied with the outcome, you can always make an appointment to discuss your concerns with the principal. You can bring a support person with you to any meeting at the school. If you need the help of an interpreter, let them know when you make the appointment, so they can arrange to have someone on the phone or at the meeting to help you.
After the meeting
It's important to discuss the meeting with your child and congratulate them on their strengths. If the teacher suggested things you could do at home, discuss these with your child and commit to following through with them.
Read more about parent-teacher interviews on School A to Z.