Parent Teacher interviews: Tips for talking to your teen’s teachers

Father and daughter talking with a teacher
High school 12-18 years

Parent teacher interviews are an excellent way for you to find out how your teen is progressing at school. Often the teachers will have these interviews scheduled one after another, so you want to make the most of the time you have! Here are some tips for talking to your teen’s teachers.


Before heading off for the meeting, it’s a good idea to put together a list of questions to ask the teachers. Here are some effective questions you might like to ask:

“Tell me about my teen’s effort in this subject”

While test results are important, they don’t always reflect your teen’s academic capability.  Asking this question means the teacher will be able to explain how much time and energy your teen is putting into their study and how that relates to their achievements. This will give you a much better idea of their overall progress than a single exam mark.

“How is my child progressing in this subject compared to the rest of the class or year cohort?”

Finding out how your teen is going compared to their peers can help identify any challenges, emerging issues, or strengths they might have with a subject.

“What are my teen’s strengths and what goals should we be aiming for in this subject?”

Your teen’s motivation for study can be improved if they pursue goals that are specific and challenging, but achievable. Talking to their teachers about your teen’s strengths and identifying realistic goals for each subject can help focus their attention and improve their learning.

“What can I do to help my teen’s performance?”

When you and your teen’s school teachers work together to support their learning, your teen will do better at school. Your teen’s teachers might have some good suggestions about strategies your teen can use to improve academically – such as study techniques and goal setting, and can give you ideas about things you can do to help build their confidence at home.

Make a plan

If you and the teacher have identified any challenges for your teen in a subject, talk about a plan to address them. The teacher might plan some learning goals for your teen, and discuss ways you can both help your teen achieve their potential.

Take notes and talk to your teen

It’s a good idea to take note of the comments and suggestions your teen’s teachers make so you can discuss them with your teen when you get home and make sure everybody is on the same page. It’s important to let your teen know the positive things their teachers said and praise them for their strengths, effort and achievement. Discuss any learning plans that you and their teachers have made to help your teen make improvements and talk about how you will work together to follow through with the plan.

Being prepared, asking effective questions, and discussing the outcome of the meetings with your teen will pave the way to more positive communication and will help support your teen’s learning.

Last modified on Tuesday 17 May 2016 [711|2726]

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