Teacher conferences are an essential part of the educational process. If you have a child in school, you probably already realize the importance of staying in contact with the teacher. This helps you stay abreast of classroom announcements, testing dates and homework assignments. Much of this information can be communicated through newsletters. However, if you are concerned about your child's grades, you need to schedule a face-to-face meeting with the teacher as soon as possible.
Write a letter to the teacher. State your concerns briefly and ask for a meeting. Include upcoming dates and times that you will be available and ask the teacher to choose one that accommodates them. Usually, the teacher will reply in writing, and the scheduling can be completed.
Call the school to schedule a meeting. Tell the secretary you need to have a conference with your child's teacher. Most of the time, the office staff will confirm a time that the teacher is free during the day and schedule the appointment.
Call the teacher to schedule a conference. If you have not received a reply to your letter or if you need immediate feedback from the teacher, call them if it is allowed by the school district. Some schools allow teachers to use cell phones during their planning and lunch times. If your teacher already has supplied a number to parents at the beginning of the year, you can safely assume they do not mind occasional calls.
Visit your school's website. Most public districts have sites for each school, and some include individual teacher web pages. If this applies to your school, click on your teacher's page, and contact them through the email address typically provided.
- If you call the teacher, do not try to conduct the conference on the phone. Teachers need to prepare by looking at grade books and tests. Personal meetings are best, if possible.
Karen Hollowell has been teaching since 1994. She has taught English/literature and social studies in grades 7-12 and taught kindergarten for nine years. She currently teaches fourth grade reading/language and social studies. Hollowell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Arts in elementary education from Alcorn State University.