Five Tips for Effective Parent Teacher Meetings


five tips-for-effective-parent-teacher-meetingsDid you miss the last Parent Teacher Meeting (PTM)? The usual complaint from the teachers is that parents don’t take the Parent Teacher Meetings seriously.

The PTM is a monthly or quarterly meeting organised by the school administration to connect the teachers with parents. This meeting provides the parent(s) a few minutes, exclusively with the teacher to discuss the academic and non-academic performance of the child. Positive PTMs build a rapport between the parent and the teacher and improve the chance of the student’s success.

Here are five simple tips for an effective Parent Teacher Meeting:

Tip #1 – Talk to your child before the meeting.

Children are often frightened by the term ‘Parent Teacher Meeting’. They have an impression that the teacher may complain about them. Ask your child if he has any issues with class lessons or classmates so that you can discuss it with the teacher. Make him understand that the meeting is held for his benefit. Let him know that you will stand by him if he is right!

Tip #2 – Prepare a list of questions to ask the teacher.

The Parent Teacher Meetings are pre-scheduled and you will only have a limited time with your child’s class teacher. Having a list of questions prevents you from missing important points in the discussion. Ask relevant questions:

  • Is he attentive in class?
  • Did he miss any unexcused classes?
  • Can he retake the missed class test?
  • Can something be done to alleviate his homework stress?

Tip #3 – Discuss your child’s problems, if any.

A mother is aware of her child’s behaviour so it’s important that you share insights about the child in the meet. This may help the teacher to work with him better. Also, let the teacher know if your child is facing any emotional disturbances viz. relative’s death, medication, etc. If the teacher is aware of the child’s problems, she will be more sensitive to his needs.

Tip #4 – Welcome the teacher’s suggestions.

Though you know your child well, remember that the teachers also spend a lot of hours observing him. Also, your child may behave differently in school than at home. Therefore, ask for suggestions from his teacher. If his teacher points out any negative qualities in your child; don’t lose your temper. Stay calm and try to understand what she has to say. Take her suggestions for helping your child at home – with homework, reading, projects, etc.

Tip #5 – Be on time.

Another important factor to consider for an effective PTM is time. Remember that the PTM is pre-scheduled and there will be other parents waiting to meet the teacher. If you are late for the meeting, you will have less time to communicate moreover, you may even miss your turn. Keep a reminder for the meeting the previous day. If you are unable to join the meeting for any reason, inform the teacher beforehand. You can also request the teacher to re-arrange the meeting for you at a convenient time.

The Parent Teacher Meeting is not only helpful for the teacher, but for the parents too. Effective PTMs can help parents and teachers to work together for the child’s benefit. Follow the above tips in your next parent-teacher meeting and share your experience with us.

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