1. Parenting

Teacher Tips for Good Parent-Teacher Conference

Meetings Help Parents to Stay Involved

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Schools and daycares alike often plan parent-teacher conferences at least twice a year, if not more, to help parents stay connected with what their child is learning. These meetings also provide quality time for parents and teachers to get to know each other on a more personal level. However, parents often become nervous about the notion of a one-on-one conference time with their child's instructional leader and sometimes are unprepared to make the most of the scheduled time. That's too bad, because these conferences can truly strengthen communications and foster a clearer understanding so that parents and teachers can partner to help a child achieve success (whether it is school or even daycare) for the year.

Kay Pugh, a 25-year veteran high school teacher recently recognized by Sharpie® as the 2006 “Signature Mom” for her outstanding parenting qualities, offers the following “Signature” tips to make the most of your child’s upcoming parent-teacher conference:

  1. Speak: talk with your child about their classes before the conferences
  2. Initiate: bring up the tough topics or concerns you or your child might have
  3. Gratitude: thank your child’s teachers for the commitment they’ve made
  4. Notes: write down each teacher’s specific comments or recommendations
  5. Attend: make every effort to meet personally with your child’s teachers
  6. Team: work with your child’s teachers to determine goals and expectations
  7. Understand: teacher feedback is critical to your child’s academic success
  8. Realize: as a parent you are the most important teacher in your child’s life
  9. Engage: help your child implement their teachers’ recommendations
Pugh also stresses an environment of respect, both at home and in the classroom. “Once you teach a child respect for others, whether for their parents, teachers or friends, you can teach them anything. They trust you. We must recognize the value we bring to children’s lives and model the appropriate behavior,” says Pugh. “As parents, we are the most important teachers in our child’s life.”

For more information about other Sharpie Signature Mom Contest winners and the Sharpie Autographs for Education program – which seeks to collect one million signatures in exchange for $1 million in school supplies and funds, including college scholarships – visit www.sharpie.com.
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