The Curriculum and Instruction Office is located in the Coates
Administration Building, 1020 West Coldwater Road, Flint MI 48505
Curriculum and Instruction Personnel:
Dr. Josha L. Talison,
Director of Curriculum/Local & State Grants
| 810 591-9201
Secretary to the Director of Curriculum/Local & State Grants
| 810 591-9247
Tips on how to get the most from your child's
parent teacher conference meeting
Here Are Some Things To Keep in Mind
Start the conference right: be there on
time, and plan not to run over the amount of time that has been set
aside, usually about 40 minutes.
If you are a working parent who can't
arrange to meet during regular hours, make this clear to the teacher and
try to set up a time to meet that is good for both of you.
The best conferences are those in which
both teachers and parents stay calm and try hard to work together for
one purpose and one purpose only: to help your child do well. Arguing,
or blaming each other for problems your child is having, helps no one.
Each teacher will probably come prepared with samples of
your children's work and with ideas to help them do even better in
school. You should get ready for each conference, too.
Talk to your children before the conference. Find out
what they think are their best subjects, and what subjects they like the
least. Find out why. Also, ask your children if there is anything they
would like you to talk about with their teachers. Make sure your
children don't worry about the meeting. Help them understand that you
and their teacher(s) are meeting together in order to help them.
Before you go to the school, write notes to yourself about:
things about your child's life at home,
personality, problems, habits, and hobbies you feel it's important for
the teacher to know
your concerns about the school's programs or policies
questions about your child's progress
how you and the school can work together to help your child
If your spouse can't attend the conference with you, ask for his or her concerns and questions.
Some good questions to ask are these:
Is my child in different groups for different subjects? Why?
How well does my child get along with others?
What are my child's best and worst subjects?
Is my child working up to his or her ability?
Does my child participate in class discussions and activities?
Has my child missed any classes other than ones I contacted the school about?
Have you noticed any sudden changes in
the way my child acts? For example, have you noticed any squinting,
tiredness or moodiness that might be a sign of physical or other
What kinds of tests are being done? What do the tests tell about my child's progress?
How does my child handle taking tests?
It's a good idea to ask your most important questions
first, just in case time runs out before you and the teacher have a
chance to discuss them all. Be sure to ask the teacher for specific
suggestions on ways to help your child do better. This is the most
important part of the meeting. It will become your action plan. If the
teacher says something you don't quite understand, don't be shy about
asking for an explanation. It's a good idea to end the conference by
summing up decisions you've made together. If needed, ask to meet again.
After the Conference
Start immediately on the action plan you and the teacher
worked out together. Discuss the plan with your child. Make sure he or
she knows that you and the teacher care. To see if the action plan is
working, watch your child's behavior and check your child's class work
Stay in regular touch with the teacher to discuss the
progress your child is making. Meeting with your child's teachers should
help build strong parent-teacher partnerships—partnerships that are
needed if you and your child's teachers are to reach your common goal of
helping your child get the best education possible.