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FAMILY : Make a List for Talk With Teacher

March 16, 1994|KATHLEEN O. RYAN

Parents and teachers share a responsibility in nurturing a child's education. Parent-teacher conferences help ensure that both are pushing in the same direction to ease a child's progress and difficulties at school.

Here's how to make these meetings better:

* Discuss the conference ahead of time with your child and take a written list of concerns you both have.

* If possible, both parents should attend.

* Go to the conference open-minded regarding suggestions and observations made by the teacher. Be a good listener.

* Be an advocate for your child. You know your child better than anyone else. Share with the teacher information from the home front that may affect your child's schooling.

* Let your child attend with you. This helps resolve conflicting viewpoints between teachers and students and keeps things open and honest. It also lets your child play a role in problem-solving.

* Find out the teacher's attitudes about homework and share your own beliefs.

* If your child experiences difficulties in school, ask the teacher for a weekly report and agree to a follow-up conference within six weeks to re-evaluate the situation.

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