Key Points To Discuss In A Parent-Teacher Meeting

The parent-teacher meeting is an inevitable and integral part of the child’s school life and growth. Considering the fact that a child spends more than half of their day in school, these meetings are crucial to parents as they might want to know what their little learner is up to during school hours. Moreover, these meetings help to bridge the gap between the home-based and classroom performances of the child. 

While teachers focus on the positive development of each and every student, communicating about the same to the parents is also vital. Hence, communication would be effective if teachers have some pre-written points to discuss which can act as the key points for parent-teacher meetings so that the teacher would not miss out on any point.

In this post, we shall talk about the various points that a teacher can discuss in a parent-teacher meeting.

Key points to discuss in parent-teacher meeting: Common grounds of discussion 

When a parent sends their child to school, they expect timely communication to know the performance of the kid academically, socially, and behaviorally. The parent-teacher meeting brings forth a platform where both can work towards the betterment of the child. While the level of abilities of each pupil varies, the parent-teacher association is often about analyzing and ameliorating student-specific areas. 

Find below some of the key points that can be discussed by the parents and the teachers in the meeting.

  1. Academic Performance– The fundamental aspect of a mentor association is academics. Multiple attributes like their discipline, submission of assignments, and classroom attitude all come under this umbrella. Accordingly, analyzing the progress in these attributes turns into a crucial part of the meeting.
  2. Socializing and making friends – A man is a social animal. Hence, making friends and forming the habit of being a part of social circles comes right from childhood. For this very reason, the parents are often concerned as to whether or not their child is making any friends in school. Hence, communication about the social skills of the child becomes one important point to discuss. What remains integral in the discussion is the interaction the child has with other students.
  1. Involvement in Extracurricular activities– While academics can be the ultimate goal of sending a child to school, extracurricular activities have their own importance. Thus, parents would be intrigued to know whether or not the child is taking part in any of the clubs or activities. Many times, getting involved in extracurricular activities can give shape the child’s future, where they can get involved in that particular activity as a profession.
    For example: If a child liked Drama classes in school, they might want to get into acting in the latter part of their life. 
  1. Their performance in a particular subject – While there is no denying that all subjects are important, and each of them holds its own significance in a child’s academic journey. However, at times, the child can do well in some subjects, and might not perform well in others. For times like these, having proper communication about those subjects can help parents pay more attention to the child with respect to that particular subject. For example, if the child is not doing well in Science, the parent might want to put in extra hours at home to make that subject an easy one for the little learner.
  1. Classroom Interaction – The child is expected to be interactive in a classroom setting. This typically means that whenever the teacher asks a question, the child should be prompt in answering that. At the same time, if at all the child has any doubts, there should be no hesitation to ask the teacher or his peers. Hence, communicating about the same to the parents can be a crucial key point that needs to be discussed by the teachers.
  2. Classroom etiquettes: What the child learns in school is what they carry throughout life. Respecting teachers and peers, greeting each other, not talking in class while the teacher is teaching, waiting till recess to have lunch, and many more etiquettes are followed in classrooms. Therefore, it is important to communicate if the child is able to comply with the rules and regulations given by the teacher in the classroom and is not creating much trouble.
  3. Shortcomings and disabilities: While every child can have a different interest in class when it comes to subjects; however, if the teacher is noticing any behavior or dysfunction that is not normal, this should be reported to the parents in meetings. This can be handwriting problems, reading issues and also issues within a particular subject, like Math. Teachers play a crucial role in identifying if there are any shortcomings in the development of the child or if the child is facing any learning difficulty that parents must know about.
  1. Attendance: For any school and class, maintaining attendance is always crucial. Hence, teachers can also discuss if the student is not having a balanced attendance. It is necessary that the attendance of the child is discussed between the parent and the teacher. If there is a lack of attendance of the child, then the parents and teacher have to discuss this and figure out the reason behind it. 
  1. Health: The health of the child is a very delicate topic and there might be times when a teacher might notice that a student is having some health concerns. This can be frequent headaches or the capability of seeing the blackboard from a distance. In such cases, these must be immediately reported to the parent, and what is a better opportunity than a parent-teacher meeting. This also can be accompanied by some eating habits that the teacher might be concerned about. Since the child eats lunch and meals at school, the teacher might notice something unusual, which can be taken note of and reported to the parents. 
  1. Etiquette outside the classroom– The etiquette inside the classroom is always noticed by the teacher but this discussion also entails the responsibility of keeping in check the etiquette of the child once they step out of the classroom and their behavior in school with other peers and teachers of different subjects which the class teacher should make the parent aware about.

While the parent-teacher meeting is crucial for a teacher to give feedback, it is also important for the teachers as well to get their own feedback. Highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, parent-teacher meetings often boost the morale of the teachers as they receive feedback from the parents. Some points that the parents can consider are:

  1. Curriculum: While the curriculum is generally set by the school, however, parents can communicate if they feel any change is required in the syllabus or the curriculum. This can directly be reported to the teacher. 
  2. The pace of the teacher: A lot of times the parents might feel that the teacher is going too fast or too slow. This also happens when the parents have a child with a learning disability. Hence, the parent-teacher meetings can be utilized to communicate to the teacher whether or not they are moving at the right pace. 
  3. Teaching Style: Parents can use the parent-teacher meetings to communicate if they love the teacher’s style of teaching, or whether they need any alterations to it with respect to their child’s performance. 
  4. Activities at home: As much as the teachers should inform whether the child is active in class, the parents also need to update the teachers about the same. Sharing what activities the child loves, and what they don’t gives a deep insight to the teacher about the overall personality of the child. 
  5. Studies at home: While there is no doubt that the child should focus entirely on studies in school. However, carrying on the same at home during free time or holidays is also crucial. Hence, this information must also be shared by the parents with the teachers. 
  6. Health Condition: Any specific health condition, like poor eyesight or even having a learning disability, should be reported to the teacher at this conference. 

The discussion points that bring the parents and teacher together for the welfare of the child need to be covered from all aspects. Pay attention to all the discussion points, and this communication helps both the teacher and the parent understand the child’s level of understanding and outlook.

Quick tips for effective conversation

Parents always expect the best training for their children, and effective communication is important here. Accordingly, Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep the conversation quick and effective at the same time.

  • While the relationship and conversation between a teacher and the parent can be very formal, there should be no hesitation or a tense atmosphere as this will obstruct both, teachers and parents from not talking freely and hesitating while conveying key points. Hence, keeping a receptive atmosphere would be the way to go about it. 
  • One should be a good listener, whether it is the parent or the teacher. To avoid conflicts, one should be aware that a good listener first listens to the speaker, and then moves on to convey their own point. The same goes for both, the parents and teachers.
  • Combining verbal and non-verbal communication helps as it assures the other person that they have your full attention.
  • Effective time management plays a pivotal role in the success of the parent-teacher meeting. It is important that for communication to be carried out smoothly, the time is managed well on both sides and how the meeting would move ahead.

That’s not all..

After the key points are discussed in the parent-teacher meeting, make sure to be respectful towards one another. If the parent and the teacher feel there is a plan that can work on the improvement of the child, they can sit and craft a plan with a time frame. After the preliminary discussion/meeting is over, the parent should keep in touch with the teacher throughout the year. The key points of the parent-teacher meeting shape the way the child functions throughout the school year, and the improvements help as the child moves to the next grade.

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