To get the most out of your next parent-teacher conference, try these tips from Kathy Jenkins, founder of the Organizing Tutor, a Mechanicsville, Va.-based student organizing service.
Make a list. Jot down questions or areas of concern ahead of time and bring them to the meeting. (And be sure to take notes during the conference).
Make a plan. Base it on how and when the teacher would like to continue to communicate during the rest of the school year.
Review your child’s grades. Overall grades are important, but individual test and quiz scores offer clues to your child’s trouble spots. (Example: Zeroes for homework may mean that your child struggles with organization).
Get your child’s perspective. Ask “What do you think your teacher will bring to my attention?” If her prediction is correct, everyone is on the same page. If the teacher says something different, this may be an issue to address.
Let the teacher take the lead. Listen and learn from the person spending many hours a day with your child. “Remember, both of you have the same goal,” Jenkins says. “You want your child to succeed.”