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Four Tips for Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

At The Malvern School, we not only form a strong bond with your child, but we also value our connection with you as a family. We are partners in your child’s education and we want to see them grow and develop with a strong foundation for the future.

Each year, we host two opportunities to meet with your child’s teacher to review their progress, discuss milestones and update individual goals. We do this as early as infancy. This helps you understand your child’s experience at school and can assist your child in achieving their highest potential at every stage of their development at The Malvern School.

This week, we are hosting our winter parent-teacher conferences at all of our schools. If you have not signed up yet, please do so with your teacher. If there isn’t a time that works with your schedule, we would be more than happy to accommodate you. In addition, you can schedule a conference time at any time throughout the year.

This is an important opportunity to gain insight into your child’s social, emotional and academic advancements. Before you meet, consider these tips for making the most of your time with your child’s teacher.

 

  1. Review developmental assessments before your conference.
    If you haven’t received them already, teachers will send developmental assessments to parents on January 8 via the Teaching Strategies GOLD online system. (If you have not received anything, please contact your Executive Director or Director of Education.) It’s tempting to put the report aside until you’re scheduled to discuss it with the teacher, but be sure to spend at least 5-10 minutes to review the assessment before your meeting. It will allow you to have a much more productive conversation rather than defaulting to reading the report together.
  2. Keep a running list of questions and concerns.
    As you’re reviewing the assessment, put your questions and concerns down in writing so you remember to cover everything on your list. This is a good practice to follow throughout the year – not just at conference time – to keep your thoughts and observations about your child top of mind. Our doors are always open, so don’t hesitate to ask questions or for additional updates – beyond the detailed daily reports in Tadpoles – at any time.
  3. Look backward and forward.
    Ask both what milestones your child has achieved and what their next developmental skills are. There are widely held childhood development expectations for various ages (birth–1 year, 1–2 years, and 2–3 years) and for various classes (preschool 3, pre-K 4, and kindergarten). It’s important to understand where your child is achieving in all developmental areas and to have a clear view of what should come next so you can complement and encourage that development at home.
  4. Tap into your teacher’s expertise.
    In addition to being degreed educators, our teachers have the opportunity to work with dozens of students each year and hundreds of students throughout their careers. They have sage advice to share! Ask them if they have any specific recommendations for ways you can help your child grow. This is a broad question but it’s a good one to ask and can help you prioritize what to focus on outside of school.

We’re looking forward to a great week of conferences and continuing to partner with you to help your child realize their full potential!

 

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