How is she doing in school, is perhaps the most popular question every parent asks at a school parent-teacher meeting or Parent-Teacher Association ( PTA) . The response from teachers is generally as vague as our question. He/She is doing ok, fine, good, bad are the kind of answers we get. But this neither helps us gauge where our child stands as far as academia goes (except for the marks) nor does it help us as parents, solve issues, if there may be any. Hence in order to get specific details about our child, we need to ask specific questions at a PTA.
So what exactly should we ask teachers so that they may help us assess our child’s progress chart and address issues?
- Tell them about your child first – As parents we know our children the best, their strengths and weakness. Tell their teacher about those so that they are a better able to utilize your child’s skills and work on their weaknesses right from the start.
- Be Specific– Rather than asking whether your child is a good student or not, ask specific questions such as “Is he social in class?” “Does she get distracted often?” “Is there something I can do to at home to help him cope better at school?”
- Don’t compare– It does not help how the child fares compared to the rest of the class. Every child is unique and is good at something or the other. Rather than asking where he/she stands in comparison to others, better to inquire whether the teacher thinks he/she is doing ok.
- Emotional health – Our focus on matters of academia make us forget that our children have emotional needs too. It is therefore important to ascertain whether he/she is happy in school. Do they get angry and pick fights, do they share and so on.
- Homework – I think most of us struggle to get our kids to finish their homework. Ask the teacher how you can help cope with their homework. Also what are best practices to help them finish with their homework without much resistance.
- Don’t be shy – As parents we want that our kids should not be shy, yet we shy away from asking questions to teachers. It is in the best interest of our children that we ask even what one may think the most frivolous question. And it is best not to rush through such meetings. Agreed there are many parents waiting but this is your only chance, perhaps couple times a year so make the most of it.
- Gratitude– Last but not the least, express your gratitude to the teacher, as they are the ones with whom our children spend half of their day and it is the teachers that form lasting impressions upon our children. They play a pivotal role in shaping our child’s career path and a simple act of gratitude can boost their morale to give their best to our children.
Parent-Teacher meetings are the only time we really get to know about our children in school. That is the only time we can brainstorm with the teacher and use their constructive feedback to help our kids. So keeping this list handy will help achieve just that.