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TIP SERIES: Tips on Parent-Teacher Conferences

posted Nov 5, 2018, 9:45 AM by Web Admin

Parent-Teacher Conferences (PTCs) are coming up next Monday, Nov. 12. They are a great opportunity for you to check in with your teachers. The following are some excellent tips for making the best use of this time recently sent out by Cynthia Simonson of the Montgomery County Council of PTAs, slightly edited.

Parents can be Proactive

Reach out to teachers now -- let the teacher(s) know ahead of time if there are any specific concerns or issues you want to address in the PTC. Give the teacher(s) time to think about the concern you intend to raise so they can be prepared to succinctly address in the limited time available (or prepared to schedule a follow on meeting on the subject).

Parents can be Prepared

Take time this week to look at your student's MAP-M and MAP-R reports. The Spring 2018 reports are located on the desktop version of MyMCPS under the left tab titled "document library." By now, all  students have taken these assessments for the fall. During PTCs, parents can ask questions about the fluctuations in numbers (which often occur) and talk with the teacher(s) about the ranges. Prep before the conference by looking specifically at the information below the MAP-R that gives the student Lexile range. If you don't know much about Lexile, read up on it beforehand! Many times middle school students are offered "options" of books -- where does the book your child has chosen fall on the Lexile scale -- is it a challenging book for your reader? 

Parents can be Responsive

Can you imagine how the PTCs would shift if parent after parent came to these PTCs asking "what can I do to help?" Once upon a time, maybe we expected our teachers to focus on teaching. Today our system is such, we rely heavily on the schools (and our teachers, in particular) to fill a number of other roles. What do our teachers need to best support the students in their classroom? Is there a task, role, supply that is needed and/or could make a difference in the classroom? Ask and then work with the school, the PTSA, the community to help meet those needs...

As a follow-up to the PTCs, especially if there is something good happening, let the teacher(s) know! When strategies our teachers are attempting seem to be working and kids are improving (whether it is academically, behaviorally, socially) -- let's share those observations and be generous with expressing our gratitude for what these teachers do for our communities.

More information on Parent-Teacher Conferences is available on the MCPS website!