Parents' night is a regular school event that's scheduled to give the parents of students a chance to talk to teachers regarding the progress of their children in both academic and non-academic school activities. This may concern grade related issues, behavioral problems or other observations by the teacher and feedback from fellow students.
Here's how a parent should conduct oneself when attending a parents' night meeting.
- Know your child's status. Before going to school for parents' night, make it a point to look at your child's schoolwork and progress cards. Talk to your child if there are any special concerns. After you've gone through these details, consolidate your concerns into a few things that you want to focus on when you meet with your child's teacher.
- Ask the teacher for her feedback. Even if you study all the papers that your child takes home from top to bottom, the teacher may still have things that she has to share regarding your child's performance and behavior. Take these opinions objectively. Remember, the teacher is better equipped to know your child while he or she is in school.
- Volunteer information that can help the teacher understand what your child is going through. If there are family problems and other concerns that could be bothering your child, share it with the teacher so that she can better understand why your child is behaving a certain way. The teacher can also offer to help your child cope with difficulties if she is more aware of the context of the situation at home.
- Be pro-active and try to create solutions. These parents' night meetings are not about judging your parenting skills or the teacher's ability to handle your children. If you are able to identify problem areas together, you can be able to come up with solutions that address the problem. Parents and teachers have the same objective of making sure that a child fulfills his or her full potential on her way to succeeding in school and in life.
- Take down notes. Make sure that you jot down the details of your conversation with the teacher. If you choose to undertake certain steps to solve problems, try to compare your progress through the notes.
- Be conscious of the time. Be sure to arrive on time, so you don't rush into your discussion with your child's teacher. Also, you are not the only parent who is scheduled to have a meeting with a teacher. There could be at least six or seven other parents waiting for their turn, so if your conversation is already taking too long, offer to have it resume on a new date that both of you are comfortable with.
It may be an uncomfortable experience, but meeting with your child's teachers can help you zero in on areas that may need work with your child. The problems detected at this stage are usually minor, so you can easily nip things in the bud if you need to take care of any problems.