Prepare for your parent-teacher conference

Parent-teacher conferences can make students and their grown-ups anxious, but it helps when you feel prepared. Here are some tips to help.

Your student deserves the attention, commitment and support they need to succeed in school. A conference is one valuable way to ensure this happens.

Before the meeting

  • If you can’t attend at the scheduled time, request to reschedule.
  • If you'd prefer to speak with the teacher in a language you are more comfortable speaking, request an interpreter; your child should not act as an interpreter.
  • Talk to your student about how they feel about school. What do they want to accomplish this year? Set some learning goals together.
  • Review homework, tests and grades (if you have them).
  • Make a list of questions (see samples below) about how you and the teacher can help your student. If possible, share them with the teacher ahead of time so they can prepare.

During the meeting

  • Thank the teacher for meeting with you.
  • Ask about your student's academic growth; request to see samples and evaluations of their work.
  • Ask how the teacher will contribute to your student's success and how you can help your student at home.
  • Pay attention to the teacher’s comments and take notes. Ask for explanations if you don’t understand. It’s ok to think something over or get a second opinion before making decisions.
  • Focus on learning. If your student’s behavior is affecting their learning, you may need to set up a different meeting to discuss it.
  • Respectfully discuss differences of opinion.
  • Ask that the school quickly notify you of any inappropriate behaviors or changes in your student’s performance.

After the meeting

  • Reflect on the conference. Follow up on what you and the teacher agreed upon to help your student be successful.
  • Keep in touch with the teacher. Set a date to meet again if needed.
  • Talk with your student and work on an action plan to help them succeed.
  • Learn more about the education system, the school curriculum, and the tests your student must take; the library can help!

Suggested questions to ask at a parent-teacher conference

  1. How is my student doing in your class? What are their grades? Is my student missing assignments?
  2. Is my student attending a special class, program or group? Why?
  3. Is my student working at their grade level in each subject? Do you have any recommendations to improve their learning?
  4. What should we do if my student gets “stuck” on homework?
  5. What are the most important concepts my student needs to learn this year?
  6. How do you measure academic progress? Do you have any concerns about my student’s progress?
  7. Does my student participate in class?
  8. What are the best school or district resources that we should consider using?
  9. What can I do to help you and my student?
  10. What is the best way to reach you?