Educators: What Parents Want From Teacher Conferences

Parents want more than just “surface information” from teachers during parent-teacher conferences.

Parents might be interested in test scores and attendance records. But they also want to delve deeper into their children’s school life.

They want to know if their children are happy in school and how they interact with other students and adults. For example, are children seen as “know-it-alls?” Are they made fun of? Do others seek them out?

Parents also want answers to questions like these:

  • What are my child’s special interests and strengths?
  • Is my child challenged by schoolwork, or does she do it with little effort?
  • How does my child feel about trying new things or making mistakes?
  • Does my child respond to opportunities for creative and critical thinking and problem solving?
  • Does my child assume responsibility, work independently, lead others and demonstrate intellectual curiosity?
  • Do assignments accommodate students’ abilities and interests?
  • Do students who participate in gifted/talented experiences have to make up regular classroom work?
  • What after-school enrichment opportunities are available for my child?

Finally, parents also want to know what they can do—with the teacher and at home—to help children develop their talents.

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