Surviving Parent-Teacher Interviews (for Parents)

You know it’s going to be bad and you don’t want to go – but you’re a responsible, good parent! How can you make it a better interview?

  1. Be clear about your responsibility and the teacher’s responsibility. It is the teacher’s responsibility to teach your child and to manage behaviour in school. You cannot do that from work. If the teacher is letting you know about difficulty your child is having, ask them what strategies have they tried so far? Go to the meeting with strategies you use at home that work and suggest them to the teacher.
  2. Be ready to partner with the teacher. They have your child many hours of the day and you want that relationship to be as good as possible. If there are issues, see if you can come to an agreement on how to handle the issues and to use the same strategies or language at home and at school.
  3. If you are unhappy about something that has been happening at school, start out with questions for the teacher – it may be that you don’t have all the information, and this may affect how you want to approach the problem.
  4. If the school is offering any extra help to your child, take it. People are worried that their child will be branded, however the earlier and the more help they get, the more likely they will not need that extra help later on – and this is the goal!
  5. If the interview is going really badly, you do not have to stay. You can simply tell the teacher that you need to think about what they have said and you will schedule another appointment with her when you are ready.

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