Parent teacher conferences

MENOMINEE – Most of the leaves have fallen; we are welcoming the month of November and parent-teacher conferences.

The title, “Parent-Teacher Conference”, evokes memories of 50-plus years ago. I remember my mother attending these conferences at the Caspian Elementary School and how I was anxious and dreading her return to our house. One such conference resulted in the taking away of my new board game, Combat!

The reason was that I was not memorizing my multiplication tables, and that affected my grade in math. Needless to say, I spent the next few months of summer vacation memorizing the multiplication tables.

Enough with my digressions; let’s get to the real topic of Parent-Teacher Conferences. First of all, I would strongly encourage parents to attend conferences throughout your child’s school years. I know from past experiences that there is usually a great turnout in the elementary grades, but attendance drastically drops off in both the middle and high school grades.

Parents, please keep in mind that involvement with your children’s education increases their success in school, whether they are young or teenagers.

Here are a few helpful tips when attending your child’s Parent-Teacher Conference:

1) Before the conference, write down a list of questions that you would like to ask the teacher.

2) Go with a positive attitude.

3) During the conference, take notes on what is discussed.

4) If there are concerns, leave with a plan developed by both you and the teacher that includes what you can do at home to help your child.

5) At the end of the conference, thank the teacher.

By the way, a big thanks to my parents’ involvement with Parent-Teacher Conferences, and their follow-through with consequences; I have never forgotten those multiplication tables.

Dan Paul is the interim superintendent for Ishpeming Public Schools. His columns, which explore family relationships, are published monthly in Lifestyles.