November is famous (or infamous) both for the first report card or progress report of the school year and parent teacher conferences. This is a time of varying emotions for families – pride, confusion, and even panic in some cases. You’ve seen the report card and (may have) met the teacher. Now, action is on the mind, and you may be thinking, “What do I do next”?
Make notes after the interview: Write down key comments while fresh on your mind, especially if new information of importance is presented. This can include marking down academic strengths, weaknesses, and learning skills to work on.
Read the report card again: Parents may find it interesting to read the report card again after the parent teacher meeting. Some feedback may have been missed, or some information may have a new meaning.
File away report card and notes: Whether you have a physical or electronic file folder, remember to save these important documents somewhere you can readily access them to check up on progress throughout the year and access them prior to the next report card.
Sit with your child to get their take on results: Your child will have a lot of insight on their leaning. Ask them what they think about the results communicated to date. If you are able to have regular discussions about school during the year, it will help avoid any surprises during report card time.
Celebrate accomplishments and stay positive: If your child’s report card had lower marks, find areas of success and ensure they are recognized. Avoid comparisons with any friends or family. It’s important to stay focused on what is realistic for your child.
Don’t fear ongoing communication with your child’s teacher: While the parent teacher interview signals a time for a formal discussion, remember that your child’s teacher is available for ongoing communication when needed.
Make a plan: Prepare a follow-up plan with your son or daughter by thinking about what activities and goals you can set for the school year. Work with your child to consider any additional support they may require. This can be in the form of family members, teachers and tutors.
Stay big picture: Remember every report card is different and that some years will be more challenging than others. It’s still very early in the academic year – there’s lots of time to introduce positive change and behaviours!