Every time parents get their child’s school report, they are quite surprised to discover their child’s ‘real’ academic level. Many of them feel that parent-teacher meetings are not long enough, there isn’t enough time to ask all the questions they would like and that teachers’ reports tend to reinforce their child’s strengths and make their weaknesses less obvious. A lot of parents we have spoken with, when they receive the final report, talk about how if certain things had been highlighted before issuing the reports, they would have known what areas to insist on and how to help their children at home.
Here are some questions meant to make teachers talk to the point and help parents understand their child’s learning potential and how to help them maximise this potential.
Questions concerning your child’s performance
- Is my child making progress? It doesn’t matter where your child started, it matters where s/he is heading and whether they are improving on their journey of reaching the year’s learning goals.
- Is my child active in class? What is his/her attitude in class? How does my child work in groups? Being active means they are interested, engaged, developing communication and social skills. Overall, active kids are happy to be in class.
- What is my child best at and what does my child need to work on? Both of these are very important. If your child excels at a subject, it might give you an idea of what kind of further education awaits them. Knowing the subjects they struggle with help you to structure learning support. ‘What should we work on at home?’ is another question to ask, which requires a straight-forward answer.
- At what level should my child perform in his/her studies? How far is my child from the curriculum objectives? Most schools refuse to rank children, but to ask about how far your child is from achieving the year’s objectives is a legit question.
Questions concerning your personal parental concerns
- How is my child’s classroom behaviour? Or to ask it another way, what can I do to help improve his/her relationship with the teacher? What is your classroom discipline philosophy? How does my child respond to it? It may help you figure out why your child reacts in a certain way when talking about school or in the morning when they have to get ready for school.
- I struggle to help my child with… this subject. What methods do you use in class to make children understand a particular concept? Are there any realia that I could make myself or buy? A good demonstration will help you master the technique and make a big difference at homework time.
- What praising methods do you use? My child feels unacknowledged, can you do something about it? How does the class reward system work? What can my child do to get rewarded? Especially at a younger age, children’s confidence thrives when praised.
- My child doesn’t feel integrated. What are his/her social interactive skills like? What activities do you use to make children feel part of a group? What can I do as a parent to help them make friends? Children not feeling integrated is one of the most difficult situations for both the child and the parents. However, the good news is that there are lost of methods a school can adopt to make sure every child feels a part of the family.
Questions concerning exams, tests and assessments
- What should my child focus on to have best exam results? This question needs a clear answer. To maximise your child’s learning potential, their teacher should know exactly what they need help with.
- Does this particular test measure academic performance or does it measure individual progress? Both are important! Academic performance means how your child performs, benchmarked to the system. Individual progress relates to your child’s learning journey and should highlight personal development.
- Are there standardised tests I should know about? You want to find out about this as soon as possible, since it will give you a great focal point to either help your child reinforce certain subjects or find him/her extra tutoring well in advance of exam day.
Are you a parent looking to maximise your child’s learning potential? If so, contact us today for advise.