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Parent-Teacher Communication

Published on: November 7, 2013  

Parent-Teacher Communication

We’re a little over two months into the school year, which means that school conferences are being held right about now. Parents, you’re probably anticipating this conference with your child’s teacher and wondering what the teacher(s) will say about his performance so far this year. Did you know that school-to-home communication has been linked with increased academic and behavioral performance in children? Here are some things to keep in mind during this season of conferences.

If you expect that your child’s school year is off to a great start, that’s wonderful! Take the opportunity at the parent-teacher conference to find out more about what your child is currently learning.

  • You might ask questions about the curriculum and how you can supplement your child’s learning at home.
  • You’ll also want to know what’s coming up next in the curriculum so you can prepare to help your child if they need it.
  • If it is in fact true that your child is meeting academic standards and performing well behaviorally, you might ask for specific examples of ways that your child is succeeding. Not only is it nice to hear as a parent, but it would also serve as a great basis for giving some specific praise and rewards to your child.

If you suspect that things are not going so well for your child this year, bring some specific questions with you. Your child’s teacher(s) are having this conference to share information with you, so don’t be shy when it comes to determining the details.

  • Talk to your child before you attend this conference. Ask your child how they would “grade” himself or herself, if they were the teacher. What does your child expect the teacher to say?
  • If a teacher tells you that your child is struggling academically or behaviorally, ask to see some data. Teachers have been collecting information for the last two months. If they have tried any interventions or new strategies to help your child, ask to see the data from those interventions, so you can see if it truly is working.
  • Ask the teacher if they have suggestions for how you can help your child at home. Determine what strategies the teacher is already using in class that you can also implement at home.
  • Consider implementing some kind of school-to-home communication system so that you can stay on top of your child’s progress. You might ask if the teacher can send you weekly emails, or if the teacher could send home a daily note about your child’s performance.
  • Ask the teacher if more intensive intervention needs to happen. If things don’t get better with some supports in place at home and school, what will you have to do next? For example, what are the teacher’s thoughts on an Individualized Education Plan or Section 504 Accommodation Plan for your child?

If things have not been going well for your child for some time now, but the parents and teachers have already made some accommodations/adjustments to your child’s school program, your family may need some more help.

  • Parents have the right to request a special education evaluation to determine if more individualized instruction is necessary for their child. Ask the teacher about the school’s procedures for requesting a special education evaluation.
  • Ask the teacher, counselor, or other school professional about additional resources at school and in the community that might help, such as after-school study halls or tutoring services.
  • Consider bringing the child to a psychologist, who would be able to conduct a full evaluation to determine your child’s specific academic and behavioral needs. Then, and more importantly, the psychologist should be able to give you some recommendations on how to proceed, and may even be able to provide some treatment for your child and the family.

We know that it can be difficult to navigate a school’s many systems. If you are concerned about your child’s performance in school or at home, consider talking with one of our Child and Adolescent Psychologists here at Gyro Psychology Services, Inc. We can help you determine what your child needs to succeed academically, behaviorally, and emotionally. Please give us a call – we are here to help.

Warmest Regards,

Gyro Psychology Services

Lacey, Washington

360.236.0206

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