Meeting with the teacher: Do your homework ahead of time

Now that you’re an adult with kids of your own, teachers take on a whole new role in your life. Your children see them every day, but you might meet with them only a few times the school year.

Here’s how to make the most of every conference:
Prepare well in advance. Start collecting copies of homework assignments and tests in the fall so you can see what kind of work your child is doing.
Talk to your children. Find out what they like about school and their teachers, as well as what they don’t like and what subjects they’re struggling with.
Bring another adult to the meeting. You and the teacher will get more perspective from someone else who knows your child well. If your spouse can’ attend, invite the child’s grandparent or aunt to come along.
Have some questions ready. The teacher will have a lot of information for you, but come in with a list of questions to ask so you don’t forget anything important. Questions can address whether your child is performing at grade level, how he or she is evaluated, and how you can stay involved in his or her education.
Show up early. If it’s report card pickup day, the teacher will have a lot of other parents to deal with, so you’ll do him or her a favor by being punctual. Even if you’re making a special appointment, arriving promptly tells teacher you take their time, as well as your child’s education, seriously.
Follow up with your child. Tell your child what you talked about. If you and the teacher have developed an action plan to address specific issues, explain that to your child so he or she knows what’s going on.
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