While there are many reasons why parent teacher meetings are important, the fundamental reason is that parents and teachers together play a vital role in the growth and development of a child, including and especially the learning abilities in the child.
In this article:
- Empowering the teacher
- Exchanging observations & progress of the child
- Discuss assessments & activities
- Know the child’s likes & preferences
- Set & meet expectations
- Keep abreast of updates & announcements
- Build relationships
- Address other concerns if any
Why Parent-Teacher Meetings Are Important?
Parents have to play a key role in terms of balancing and maintaining effective communication with the child at home and the child’s teachers in the school, which is where parent-teacher meetings becomes a vital conduit for exchange of information.
1. Empowering The Teacher
Ideally, teachers need to interact with parents before the start of the academic year and gather basic information regarding the child.
Since parents have been making observations of their child since the day they were born, they can help teachers by sharing their observations and empower them to support and guide their child during the learning hours.
2. Exchanging Observations & Progress of the Child
As part of their duty, teachers (or educators) usually make observations, note and collect considerable amount of information about each new child and record their progress on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.
The educator may also utilise the notes taken for formal assessment to customise the teaching approach for a particular child, and help enhance his or her proficiency in concepts and skills such as written, numerical, basic word recognition and spoken language.
3. Discuss Assessments & Activities
During a parent-teacher meeting, the teacher may discuss certain specific and overall results from the assessments done for a child, across various parameters, along with the work the child has done in his or her class work and/or class activities, be it in note books or charts.
The charts are usually prominently displayed on the walls in and around the classroom and/or the main notice board. Parents should ensure that they also discuss the level of participation and performance of their child across extra-curricular activities.
4. Know The Child’s Likes & Preferences
Parents have a reasonably good idea about their child’s interests, needs, likes, dislikes, preferences and routines, among others.
Sharing the same with the educators during meetings will not only help them be empathetic about the child’s needs and requirements, it also helps to make necessary modifications to their approach during teacher-child interactions.
Most of all, it helps the child better relate to his or her peers in the new environment and connect with the new environment.
5. Set & Meet Expectations
Over time, as the educator gets to know each child and his/her family better, the teacher can customise strategies for each of them.
Parents should seek for information, discuss, clarify and understand the expectations of what the child would achieve by the end of every quarter and how they can support and enable their child to realise the goals.
Periodic meetings with the teachers, and the administrators if need be, helps parents assess and quantify the overall progress of their child across various parameters of growth and development, and focus on areas that the child needs to improve.
When it comes to growth and development, one of the most crucial role parents need to play is with regard to the emotional development in their child during early childhood years.
6. Keep Abreast of Updates & Announcements
The early learning centre should ensure that announcements and updates are to be put up on the notice board on a regular basis.
It should also be pasted with photographs of children who played and/or participated in different activities and events. This way, each parent can get information and visual updates on their child’s academic and extra-curricular progress.
Talking about play, not only is it important that children play in school with their peers, it is also important that parents play with their child too.
7. Build Relationships
Overall, it is essential for the parents to build good relationships with not only the teachers and administrators in the early learning centre but also others if need be, like speech and language therapists, health care professionals.
Most of all, each parent should also connect and build relationships with other parents.
8. Address Other Concerns – If Any
The parents should also utilise each of the parent-teacher meeting, also called the parent teacher conference, to discuss about the child’s level of comfort with the early learning centre, like things that he/she was pleased with and/or concerned about.
This is a very important responsibility of parents, as communicating only about the things the child was pleased with, or only about the things the child concerned with will neither help the school nor the other children in school.
Teachers and parents should therefore discuss, openly, all concerns and/or gaps, so that appropriate solutions should be formulated together.
While it is a fact that parents do spend a lot of time with their children, it is an equally important fact that educators and administrators in early learning centres also spend a lot of time with children, in a formal setting, and in the absence of the adults of their family.
That’s why parent-teacher meetings are important and necessitates parents to look into the strategy and style that they have adopted for the growth and development of their children. Most of all, they will have to add, modify or delete a strategy on an ongoing basis, wherever necessary and whenever required.
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