Pursuant to DCPS guidelines, Tyler Elementary has 3 parent teacher conferences scheduled for the 2011-2012 school year:
- Monday, October 17, 2011
- Monday, February 6, 2012
- Monday, May 14, 2012.
The school is closed for students on these days, so it is important to remember to arrange alternate child care. Families can schedule a conference with their student’s Teacher. Note: You do not have to wait for a DCPS Parent Teacher Conference Day to schedule a conference. If you think that you need to find out or share additional information about your child’s progress with their Teacher, please schedule a conference at a mutually convenient time as soon as possible.
Parent Teacher Conferences are a very important part of being involved as a Tyler parent. These conferences help establish communication between a parent and the Teacher regarding a child’s academic progress, social development, and behavior. Your child’s success at school is enhanced by having an effective partnership between the parent and teacher. As important as it is for teachers to provide feedback, it is equally important for parents to provide background information on things going on at home that might impact their child’s performance. Children whose parents are going through divorce or separation, who have had a death in the family, a new sibling, a new step-parent, or a change in housing arrangements may be having difficulty adjusting to these life events. In addition, it is also relevant to tell the teacher about your child’s participation in extracurricular activities, the amount of time you spend reading with/ to them on a regular basis, and the resources (games, activities, books, computer, etc.) you use at home to increase their vocabulary, critical thinking, and social or reading skills.
Tips for Effective Parent – Teacher Conferences
Parents can use the following tips to help make a parent – teacher conference go smoothly:
- Prepare for the meeting by jotting down questions and concerns ahead of time. Talk to your child to see if he or she has any special concerns or questions for you to discuss or clarify with the teacher. (see Sample Questions below)
- Be on time. Arriving a few minutes early shows genuine interest in what’s going on with the child.
- Turn off the cell phone to avoid distraction during the meeting.
- Relax and try to avoid crossing arms and legs or exhibiting body language that indicates a closed mind to what’s being said or suggested.
- Show pride when the teacher points out what the child has accomplished in class.
- Listen carefully to what the teacher has to say concerning a problem. Answer questions truthfully, not defensively.
- If a teacher mentions a behavior or learning issue, listen carefully. Ask questions so you understand if this is a normal behavior or an issue that needs a little work or if it is a problem that needs to be watched more closely. If any learning disability is a possibility, ask the teacher what the school provides as far as testing.
- Take notes on specific incidents and details. For example, if the teacher has noted the child is falling behind because he reverses words when reading or can’t recognize numbers in proper sequence, then a visit to the pediatrician may be in order for further testing.
- Get copies of any school test results in case the information is needed later.
- Discuss measures that may help resolve any issue of concern. If homework isn’t getting completed, for example, then ask the teacher for tips that may help at home, or go online to find out how parents can help kids manage homework.
- Ask the teacher how your child is doing relative to his classroom peers as well as how his progress compares to the competency expectations for his grade level.
- Thank the teacher for being so attentive.
- Follow up and let the teacher know what is being done to correct the problem or situation.
Sample Questions to Ask at a Parent-Teacher Conference
- How is my child doing in school? In Reading? Math? Science? Social Studies?
- Does my child turn in his or her homework on time?
- How are my child’s work habits? Does he/she complete work on time?
- Does my child participate in class activities?
- What do you consider my child’s best strengths and interests? Weaknesses – does my child struggle with a particular subject?
- How does my child interact with peers? Who does my child play with?
- How is my child’s behavior? Is my child polite and respectful of you and other adults?
- Does my child need extra help in a particular subject?
- What kinds of tests do you give? What do the tests show about my child’s progress? How does my child handle taking tests?
- What is my child’s ability level? Does he/she comfortably work at that level?
- Does my child show leadership abilities?
- Is my child being academically challenged? Is my child working up to his or her potential?
- If I need to reach you, what is the best way? (E-mail, phone, note)
- How can I help?