Essentially, like any other form of good communication, a parent/teacher forum for corresponding involves meeting each other. The parents should be positive and courteous when meeting a teacher and seek his/hers’ honest opinion about their child. This ensures that the parent gets a true, first-hand true account of the child’s performance in school and the problems he is facing.

When to Have a Conversation?
Parents should find out about the most suitable time to talk to a teacher. If the parent is at school, he/she could be tempted to abruptly ask about the child’s well being, which could be latching on to an unprepared teacher. It is imperative to check with the teacher if the time is convenient for a conversation. If a parent does happen to bump into a school teacher or staff somewhere in the town, limit the communication to exchanging pleasantries. Such accidentals meetings form a part of a social scenario and are not meant for a parent-teacher discussion.

Parents Should Look Forward to Scheduling a Special Meeting with the Teacher if:
• The child has special needs and the teacher needs to be informed about them before the new academic session begins.
• The child’s grades have dropped rather suddenly.
• The parent’s suspect that the child is having difficulty in understanding what is being taught in the classroom.
• The child is very upset about something that had happened in school but isn’t volunteering to speak about it or is very hesitant in doing so.
• The child never seems to do his homework and yet the teachers aren’t complaining.
• Some changes at home have happened which could directly affect the child. For example, someone in the family has died or the parents are about to get divorced.

Having the Right Conversation:
The best form of a conference or any purposeful communication is when both the teacher and parents stay composed and try to work out a strategy to solve the problem regarding the child. Arguing and blaming anyone usually doesn’t solve an issue and the same common sense is applicable here.

A Few Good Questions to Ask:
• Is the child performing differently in different subjects and if yes, why?
• How well does the child get along with the other children?
• Which are the child\’s best and worst of subjects?
• Does the child work to his true potential?
• Does the child participate in class discussions?
• Is the child prone to miss classes or skip school?

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