Making the most of parent teacher interviews

At Pickering College, educating and developing the whole child is viewed as a shared responsibility between staff, faculty and parents. Parent teacher interviews provide an opportunity to discuss how your child is progressing and what kind of support and encouragement he or she requires. Here are some tips to get the most out of your interview time slot:

  • Approach the interview with a positive attitude. Focus on what your child is doing well and how you can best work with the teacher in supporting him or her in the areas requiring improvement. Remember that you, your child and the teacher are part of a team. You all have the same goal: that is to assist your child in being the best he or she can be and in reaching his or her full potential.
  • Be upfront and open about any concerns you may have about your child’s progress. Communicate your opinion calmly and listen carefully to the teacher’s response. Approach a problem from a “let’s work on this together” standpoint. Focus on positive suggestions and ideas instead of criticism of your child or his/her teacher.
  • Recognize the effort of the teacher in supporting your child’s learning and development.
  • Take a moment before the interview to think about what you would like to know. Review the report card with your child, paying particular attention to the anecdotal comments. Ask your child for his or her opinion and how he or she thinks they can improve.
  • Jot down specific questions, such as “What goals should my child work towards?”, “How can I support what’s being done in school?”, “What strategies are being used to help my child overcome difficulties?” or “What kind of student is my child?”
  • Bring a pen, piece of paper or electronic device to take notes.
  • Afterwards, be sure to tell your child all of the positive comments the teacher made highlighting what your child is doing well. Then discuss ideas with your child for areas that require improvement. Ask for his/her opinion about these ideas. Follow up with the teacher as needed.