One of the important ways you can support children in school is to keep an open dialogue with their teachers.

One of the important ways you can support children in school is to keep an open dialogue with their teachers.

Parent-teacher conference can give you progress report on your child

As I walk the halls of elementary schools, I see signs of Thanksgiving — turkey paintings, gourds on display. It's hard to believe the holidays are around the corner.

But before we take a break, let's check in on how your child is doing in school.

That's right, it's parent-teacher conference week at our elementary and kindergarten through eighth-grade schools. As you know, parents are crucial partners to us educators. We welcome and encourage involvement at every level possible. That can mean everything from making sure your child gets to school on time to serving on a districtwide advisory committee.

One of the important ways you can support children in school is to keep an open dialogue with their teachers. These conferences are a chance to sit down with your child's teacher to talk about your child's progress in school and to get your questions answered. If your child is struggling in a particular area, the teacher will talk with you about what is planned at school to help her improve and how you might be able to help at home.

Below are some questions you can use when talking to your child's teacher. They will help you to better understand what is being taught in the classroom, how well your child is doing and what you can do at home to help your child.

What is my child expected to learn this year, and how is he or she progressing?

Ask about what is being studied in class. This is also a good time for the teacher to show you examples of class projects and assignments. How will I know my student is successful? Your child's teacher can share the results of their Common Learning Assessments and the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment, which allows teachers to choose texts that are just right for students and plan instruction.

What are my child's academic strengths? Find out what your child's strengths are. It's important to reinforce and build on these with your child. Maybe you'll learn about ways your child is excelling in something you didn't even know about. Use this time to tell the teacher what you see as strengths in your child.

In which area does my child need improvement? This question is crucial. Ask the teacher what support your child is receiving in the classroom to improve in whatever area necessary. But also ask what you can do at home to help reinforce what is being taught at school.

Make sure you talk with your child after the meeting. Start with the positive things, and then discuss areas where improvements can be made and what everyone is going to do next to help your child thrive.

In our busy lives, we sometimes have precious little time to discuss our child's progress in school with one important expert in this area — your child's teacher. If you haven't made time for it, please do — you would be surprised how much you can learn in just one parent-teacher conference. These conferences are a necessary part of being involved in your child's education, and, they are one more way to send the message to your child that his or her education is important.

Richard A. Carranza is the superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

FeaturesFountas & Pinnell Benchmark AssessmentSan Francisco Unified School DistrictThe City

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Jill Bonny, owner of Studio Kazoku tattoo parlor in the Haight, tattoos client Lam Vo on Friday, March 5, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
No one was fighting for tattoo artists, so they started advocating for themselves

Jill Bonny has been tattooing in the Bay Area since 2000. Four… Continue reading

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

At a rally in February, Monthanus Ratanapakdee, left, and Eric Lawson remember Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man who died after he was pushed to the pavement in San Francisco. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Examiner file photo)
The criminal justice system can’t fix what’s wrong in our community

My 87-year-old mother walks gingerly, slowly, deliberately, one step in front of… Continue reading

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said some students and families who want to return will not be able to do so at this time. “We truly wish we could reopen schools for everyone,” he said. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD sets April reopening date after reaching tentative agreement with teachers union

San Francisco Unified School District has set April 12 as its reopening… Continue reading

José Victor Luna and Maria Anabella Ochoa, who cite health reasons for continuing distance learning, say they have been enjoying walking in Golden Gate Park with their daughters Jazmin, a first grader, and Jessica, a third grader. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Some SFUSD families prefer distance learning

Health issues, classroom uncertainties among reasons for staying home

Most Read