Questions to ask your Child’s Teacher One on One
Teachers always say that it’s the parents they don’t need to see who always show up to parent/teacher night. No doubt your kids are model students but that doesn’t mean you should forgo a chance to chat with their teachers. You might find out something you never knew about them.
Get in Early
If you can, try to book an early appointment time. The teacher won’t be talked out and you won’t have to wait as meeting times stretch longer and longer. You’ll also get home early and have a nice evening with your family. If you have your questions prepared, you can be in and out in ten minutes.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
You think you know your child but maybe you know the child you see at home, not at school. Asking the teacher open-ended questions might touch on behaviours that you’re not aware of. They don’t have to be bad, though. Talking with your child’s teacher often reveals clues of where their strengths and interests might be heading. You thought your son was an awesome writer but it turns out he’s doing better than you expected in math – in fact, he’s passionate about it!
Here are some questions you might ask:
Does Bobby participate adequately in class?
Is Bobby easily distracted or does he focus on tasks well?
Does he get along well with his peers? Does he take a leadership role, is he compassionate? Helpful?
How does he navigate friendships? Do you notice any issues he might be having with another student?
Has Bobby developed any new interests that we could further at home?
What can Bobby improve on? Is a tutor necessary?
Meeting with your child’s teacher is also a good opportunity to fill her in on any family issues that might be occurring at home.
The death of a grandparent, a move, or any kind of stress your child might be experiencing can show itself in your child’s behaviour and school work. Making the teacher aware of what’s going on at home will give her a “big picture” of your child’s life and explain behaviours that might be out of character.
Ask to Volunteer
If you don’t already, volunteering in your child’s classroom or even helping out in the office is a great way to get insight into your child’s school environment and general goings on. It’s been ages since my daughters were in elementary school but I still have close friendships with the moms I volunteered with on hot lunch days!
Teachers also absolutely love it when parents help students with their reading skills. Once a month I sat at a table in the hallway and students would choose a book and come out and read it to me one at a time.
Some kids read above their grade level but many did not. Parents are busy and sadly don’t always have time to sit down and read with their kids. Whether reading books or riding along on a field trip, teachers always appreciate the extra help. Your kids will love having you there, too.
Maybe you’re one of those parents the teachers don’t need to see, but that doesn’t mean you should skip the opportunity. Try to make the time, if only to hear, “Bobby is doing very well, I have no concerns!”