Parent-teacher conferences are the ideal time to connect and collaborate with your children’s teachers. Rather than a surprise at report card time, support from everyone involved is the key to your kids successes. Parents of twins face some unique challenges when it comes to schooling and it can sometimes seem overwhelming. So consider some of these questions that teachers would like to answer during for you during your next parent-teacher meeting.
Listen to the teachers and share your own expectations for the school year. Your twins’ success rely on a strong sense of respect and partnership between all of the people involved in their education.
What is your homework philosophy?
Studies show that parents should be engaged in the process of learning at home, beyond simply monitoring whether or not the students are doing homework. Ask your kids’ teachers how you can best keep track of their progress on an ongoing basis, and how you can support their classroom learning from home.
What are the best ways for me to help in the classroom?
If you have the time, volunteers for class trips or fundraisers are always appreciated. Teachers are also always grateful for donations of supplies: tissue boxes, hand sanitizer, art supplies, and books are some things their classroom may need.
How do you prefer to be contacted?
Email, text, social media, oh my! With so many options available, please ask which method the teacher prefers for communication.
Open lines of communication between parents and teachers are essential to student success. You should understand a teacher’s preferred method of contact and use it often. It’s also important to respect boundaries while staying engaged. Your children will reap the benefits of a collaborative and supportive parent-teacher relationship.
Any do’s and don’ts parents should know ahead of each of their twins’ parent-teacher conferences?
Do ask questions.
Do get involved.
Don’t feel overwhelmed or guilty if you have limited time.
Do explain your twins’ individual learning styles and any educational strengths and challenges they may have.
Don’t forget to listen to the teacher.
What should parents be doing to establish a good channel of communication with their twins’ teacher(s)?
Open lines of communication between parents and teachers are essential to student success. You should understand a teacher’s preferred method of communication and use it often. It’s also important to respect boundaries of communication while staying engaged.
What is the biggest challenge teachers face in the classroom?
Teaching is often a ratio of 1:30or higher. Having you involved puts one more person in the educator column. This is essential.
What happens at home has an immense, often underappreciated impact on a child’s ability to learn in the classroom. Establishing morning and evening routines, getting enough sleep, feeding the kids a healthy breakfast and lunch, and making sure they aren’t stressed when they arrive at school are all invaluable.
How can parents best use what they learn during parent-teacher conferences to help each of their twins?
Follow through on what you discuss with the teacher. So often, parents receive a lot of handouts and information and file it away in a drawer, never to be visited again. It’s important for you to apply what you learn at parent-teacher conferences to understand how your kids are performing now and how to support future learning.
Hilary Scharton is the Vice President of K-12 Product Strategy for Canvas, the open online learning management system (LMS) that makes teaching and learning easier. In her role, she sets the strategic vision for how Canvas makes its products even more awesome for students and teachers across the globe, while focusing on leveraging technology to support improved instruction and equitable access for all students.