One of the most important elements of ensuring your child enjoys a successful education is the involvement of you—the parent. Your active engagement in your son’s or daughter’s learning plays as much of a key role in their growth and development as the Montessori teacher’s does. So, when it is time for parent-teacher meetings, it’s wise to be prepared and come knowing what to expect and what to ask.
The Power of a Parent-Teacher Meeting
Meetings are a perfect way for parents and teachers to work together on fostering a child’s further growth and lifelong success. Parent-teacher conferences allow you to gain vital insights about what your child is interested in, where he or she is thriving, and where some problem-solving may be needed to address areas where the child needs additional help. You can also use the time to build a stronger relationship with the Montessori teacher and learn more about how you can bring the classroom learning into your everyday activities to help your son or daughter progress on a daily basis.
So, whether you’re about to have your first-ever parent-teacher conference or whether you’ve had your child enrolled in Montessori school for a few years, being prepared for the meeting will help you make the most out of it. Here are a few suggestions that we’ve found to be helpful to the Montessori parents we serve.
How to Prepare for Your Meeting
Intentional preparation ahead of time will go a long way toward making your parent-teacher conference as productive as possible. Here are a few tips you can use to get ready for a successful meeting.
- Plan ahead—Spend some time considering what you most want to know about your child’s education and the school’s activities.
- Come with questions—After you think about what you’d like to know, narrow your list into 3-4 focused topics to address during the parent-teacher meeting.
- Bring notes and take notes—Bring your ideas with you—in written form if it will help you remember them. And have a handy way to take notes on what the teacher shares with you so you won’t forget them after you leave.
- Be respectful of time—Remember that the teacher will have several parents to meet with. Time slots for meetings may be tight, so it is best to arrive on time and stick to the schedule. If you have more to discuss than the teacher can address within the meeting, schedule an additional time to meet and talk more.
- Set a goal of working together—Use the meeting time to connect with the teacher and get a better understanding of how your child is doing and how you can encourage their future achievements.
What to Expect During the Parent-Teacher Conference
A parent-teacher meeting is designed to update you on how your son or daughter is doing in the classroom. In a Montessori environment, that includes several areas of your child’s classroom experiences that you can expect to learn more about:
- Recent academic achievements and accomplishments—such as their fine and gross motor skills, independent study successes, and more
- Current behavioral patterns and development—such as how well they listen and how they play
- Social interactions and emotional skills they are developing—how well they interact with others
- Areas of interest and strength—where your child is excelling, and signs of progress
- Areas of challenge—where your child has potential to change and grow
Questions to Ask Your Child’s Montessori Teacher
To help move the parent-teacher conversation forward and be sure you get the most information, it’s a great idea to come in with topics of discussion in mind. It’s likely that your child’s teacher will already be planning to cover many of these topics with you. But having them in mind will also help you to be ready for a productive conversation.
Asking good questions will prompt discussions that will give you a better understanding of your child’s progress and how you can help them grow even more. And remember, a great discussion will also do the added favor of equipping the teacher for greater success in working for your child.
Here are some things to talk about:
- What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
- How does he or she interact with other children in the classroom?
- May I see an example of my child’s work, or the materials he or she is currently working with?
- Are there materials that he or she is hesitant to use?
- What is your overall impression of my child?
- What can I do to support his or her learning at home?
- Are there any questions I can answer for you?
- Is there anything I haven’t asked yet that we should talk about?
Bottom line, here’s what you are looking to understand through your parent-teacher conference:
- How closely is the teacher observing your child?
- How consistently is your child staying engaged in the classroom?
- How well is the school adhering to Montessori educational standards?
- Does your child love to be there?
- How is your son or daughter growing as a result of their Montessori education?
Parents and Teachers Work Together to Make Your Child a Success
The biggest impact of a Montessori parent-teacher conference is its power to bring both parents and teachers together to ensure your son or daughter excels in every area—socially, academically, intellectually, emotionally—to foster lifelong learning and success.
As an AMS accredited school, Primary Montessori Day School, we have a proven history of equipping our students to be successful in life through an authentic, inspiring Montessori education. As a parent, you want to unlock your child’s potential—and a Montessori education is a powerful way to do so in a warm, supportive, stimulating environment that brings out the best in your son or daughter.
Contact us at (301) 309-9532 to learn more about how Primary Montessori Day School gives Rockville, Maryland children a balanced education that prepares them for achievement in every area of life.