Saturday, November 23, 2013

Helping foreign-born parents with Parent & Teacher Conferences

Do you know a foreign-born neighbor that has a child in elementary school?
Maybe their child goes to school with your child. In their culture, they may
not have parent teacher conferences. Here are some tips that you may help
another parent prepare for the upcoming conferences:

The Conference Format
The typical conference with your child’s
homeroom teacher takes about 15-20 minutes
and provides you with a valuable opportunity:

• To see examples of your child’s work
in reading and mathematics.
• To review grade-level expectations and
your child’s progress.
• To ask questions about specific
concerns or get additional information.
• To find out how you can reinforce
classroom learning at home.

Before the Conference . . .
Review your child’s report card:

• Do you understand the grading system?

• Is your child below, on or above grade
level in reading and mathematics?

• Are there any learning behaviors that
need improvement?

Talk with your child:
• How does your child feel about school?

• How does your child think he/she is
doing in school?

• Is there anything that your child wants
you to ask or tell the teacher?

Do you have particular concerns about
your child:

• How does he/she get along with other

• Is your child working up to his/her

Have there been any major changes at home
or school that might have an impact on your
child’s school work:
• Health concerns?

• Family issues?

• New teacher?

• Separation from friends?

During the Conference . . .
Be an active listener and take notes.
To make the best use of limited conference
time, focus your attention on the areas most
important to your child.
Consider the following topics as possibilities
for discussion with the teacher:

• In which area(s) is your child doing well?

• In which area(s) does he/she need to

• Has your child adjusted well to the
class and the teacher?

• What are some of your child’s special
interests or concerns?

• How can you help your child at home?

• What other resources are available to
help your child?

And yes! You can read to your child if you do not speak English!
Take a picture walk and talk about the pictures!  Make personal you and your child's home language! :-)

~ “If you teach the parents, it helps teach their children.”

                                Laurel Conran WASHPOST 7/2011

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