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.

Five Tips to Reduce Homework Stress in Children

Five Tips to Reduce Homework Stress

Frequent headaches, stomach problems, lack of sleep, and fatigue are common in today’s children. These are symptoms of stress. If you find any of these in your child, then, your child may be facing some kind of stress.

Which one?

‘Homework stress’ is a frequent occurrence among school children. Excessive homework and the stress to complete it on time can have negative effects on your child’s health.

What are the exact problems that stress your child?

Does she lack the homework skills required to finish the homework by herself? Or is the homework too much to be completed on time? Once, you have identified the reasons you will know how to help her out.

Follow these five simple tips to make this happen:

  • Don’t restrict the study time and place

Every child has a unique way of studying. Some prefer a quiet place to concentrate on their homework, others may feel sleepy if left alone. Children may also need your presence to prepare well. Don’t force her to stick to the study table for finishing the homework. Every child can study well in a particular part of the day. If she prefers finishing her homework after dinner then let her do that. Give them the liberty to choose the time and place to complete their homework. This will keep them relaxed. Tip: Serve dinner earlier than usual!

  • Give them a break after each homework session

Continuous hours of study can be tiring for children. Let them take a break while doing their homework. Give them nutritional snacks; talk to them about the day’s class or let them simply relax. Continuing homework after such breaks can be refreshing. You can reduce your child’s stress by simplifying the homework or increasing her productivity.

  • Encourage your child

Academic achievements are very important, but don’t let it overpower her routine lifestyle. Encourage every small accomplishment of your child. Be it a class assignment or a hobby she has learnt. Gift them their favourite toys or take them out to a movie. Happy times spent with family have positive effects on the child’s mental health.

  • Get her enough sleep

Lack of sleep affects growth hormones and may have adverse effects. Ask your child to finish homework much before bedtime. Don’t let the homework stress disturb the child’s sleep. At times, the child’s brain is too tired and she may not be able to concentrate. Let them sleep as long as it does not unduly affect their regular sleep routine.

  • Seek help of tutors, if necessary

All children are unique. Their ability to grasp concepts however differ. One child may understand complex science or math problems quickly while others may need extra focus and explanation. If your child misses a particular class, then she may not understand follow-up classes and this may lead to more homework stress. No one can understand your child better than you. If they need extra attention, then you should hire good tutors or enrol them in online courses. 

So, what are governmental agencies doing to solve this problem? The National Education Association (NEA) and the National PTA (NPTA) support a standard of “10 minutes of homework per grade level.” Accordingly, a 1st standard child should not be given homework that takes more than 10 mins to complete. The question however, remains – “Are the educational institutions following this rule?”

We just shared five tips from our experts for parents to reduce the child’s homework stress. What do you think? Write to us about other useful tips that you follow to reduce homework stress.