StudyDog has Tips for a Successful October Parent-Teacher Conference

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Preparing in advance, keeping an open mind and expressing thanks are among suggestions offered.

Having an effective parent-teacher conference can be critical in helping establish the needs of a child and lay a foundation for what they will be learning in the upcoming months.

October generally marks the midpoint in the first quarter of the academic year when schools invite parents to meet with teachers to discuss their child and their academic progress. Parents and teachers are often the most influential people in a child’s life, making the parent-teacher conference an important part of a student’s academic success. According to StudyDog, an online reading program geared toward elementary students, parents should spend time preparing for the meeting in advance to make every minute count.

“Having an effective parent-teacher conference can be critical in helping establish the needs of a child and lay a foundation for what they will be learning in the upcoming months,” said Deme Clainos, a spokesman for StudyDog. “Parents and teachers need to work together to find ways to help the child be successful with their school efforts.”

StudyDog offered these tips to make the most of the conferences:

Talk to your child

Before going to the conference, speak to the child about how they are feeling about school. Ask what they like most and least about school, what they have been learning about, who they play with or work with in groups and if they are struggling with anything academically or socially. Let them know you will be speaking with their teacher and that they don’t need to worry, the meeting will help them with school. Ask them if they have any questions for the teacher that they would like asked on their behalf.

Make a list of questions and concerns

Help make it a productive conversation by preparing a list of questions to ask at your meeting and prioritize them in case you run out of time. The questions might be about academics, social skills or behavior. Giving the teacher some background information about the child and home life could also be helpful. Teachers should be aware of medical issues the child has, especially if they might affect them at school. If the family is dealing with any major life challenges at home like divorce, serious illness or death of a loved one, this might be affecting the child at school. Be prepared to share that information as well.

Ask for clarification of anything you don’t understand

During the meeting the teacher will probably discuss the child’s progress, homework, behavior and grades. They may show some samples of the child’s work in class. They will also address any questions or concerns they have, so they can provide additional support in the classroom. The meetings may go by quickly, ask for clarification if there is something you don’t understand.

Keep an open mind

Parents can be sensitive, especially when hearing about things their child is struggling with. Avoid getting angry or defensive, instead ask questions and see if the teacher can give specific examples. Come up with a plan together for things the child can work on at home in the areas that they are struggling with.

Express thanks

Leave the conference on a high note by expressing thanks for the work the teacher is doing. Meetings don’t just need to be reserved for parent-teacher conference. Stay in touch. Reach out to the teacher whenever there is a question or concern about the child’s education.

Click here to learn about how programs from StudyDog help children learn to read.

About StudyDog

StudyDog is a proven leader in helping children quickly learn to read and has helped more than 6 million kids master basics like phonics. The company creates interactive reading programs specially designed for elementary students. What sets StudyDog apart from other learning programs is how StudyDog engages future readers as young as three years old. Similar reading software is able to engage older students who already know how to read. But StudyDog uses games and other features to connect with younger children who haven’t learned to read yet. StudyDog’s Adventures in Reading series is used in more than 3,000 schools nationwide. The lessons were designed to meet state early learning standards and the guidelines of the National Reading Panel. Founded in 2002, StudyDog programs have been used in schools for the past six years. For more information, visit or call 1-866-643-4449.

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