Toddlers Unlimited

Manila's Premiere Preschool & Toddler Center

Hello, Teacher!

on August 5, 2012

Are Parent Teacher Conferences Necessary?

These past few days, I’ve seen a stream of parents coming in and out of the school for their first Parent-Teacher Conferences (PTCs). A few people may think it unnecessary to meet with the teachers of a one-, two- or three-year old child. I’m here to implore you, “Please go.” As a parent and a teacher, I think these meetings are great chances to learn more about your child and share some insight into your little one.

What can you expect?

Teachers will give you feedback on how your child is in school. What her general disposition is and how she interacts with the people in the classroom. I once had a parent who upon hearing how participative, cooperative and helpful her child was, joked, “Are we talking about the same kid? She’s the total opposite at home!”

The teacher will discuss other notable observations such as interests, strengths and areas of improvement. There’s no need to worry when teachers talk about how your child can improve. This is an opportunity for you to learn how you can help your child.

Red Flags Raised

A good teacher will be honest with you and let you know if she notices red flag behavior that warrant an assessment from a child specialist. She may not however, make a diagnosis on disabilities or disorders – that’s not her job. She should be able to tell you what the expected skills or milestones are of your child’s age group and then give you specific instances of your child’s behavior that is causing her to worry.

She is by no means judging your child or your parenting skills. It’s simply a chance to determine whether your child needs support in specific areas of development, has a learning disability or if there is no need to worry at all.

Talking about plans and progress

In some PTCs, teachers share their goals or plans of action, giving you tips of things to do at home. They also try to get input from you on what strategies work with your child and in getting you to be more actively involved in his education. In our experience, we see more progress among children with parents that invest their time and attention to their children’s education.

In the later PTCs they give progress reports or in some case report cards that help you track where your child is at developmentally. This will give you a clearer picture of your child’s development.

Your say…

This is a perfect time to let the teachers know what you appreciate about the program, or what changes you have seen in your child. If your child loves school, let his teacher know. But if you have concerns about the teacher, a classmate or anything about the program, make sure to mention it. If there are specific areas of development that you want addressed, and the teacher did not mention it, then by all means, bring it up and ask how they can help.

First or last:

Whether this is the PTC for your first and only child or for your last and 8th child, take the time to make it. The teachers will give you some of your child’s work, which I recommend you bring home and show to your child. Talk about how proud you are and share the positive comments she made.

For older children it’s okay to let them know things you and the teacher have agreed to work on to help your child. Help build the idea in your child’s mind that his school and family are conspiring together to give him the best educational experiences.

 

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