To show teachers you care and are involved in your child’s education
To get new or more information about your child as a student
to see your child through his or her teachers’ eyes
to get a better read on how child is doing since conferences come after the ambiguous “U”, “S”, “E”
To show your child that you are truly invested in their education - that you’re investing your own time because it means that much to you
To engage with your child
to know the teacher they’re talking about, if they talk about them
If your child has complaints about a teacher, meeting the teacher allows you to make your own assessment so you can support and/or advocate for your child if necessary
PT Conference Anecdote (not at this school): I went to a PT conference and as the teacher looked through my daughter’s test grades with me, he realized he marked her down in his grade book as having received a 10% when really she got a 110% on that test which changed her overall grade from a B+ to and A. Had I not taken the time to meet with him, he never would have noticed that error.
Set Realistic Expectations:
Remember, you will have 3 minutes with each teacher. You will see them, hear them speak, and get a general impression of how they feel your child is doing in class. Sometimes this only takes one minute!
If you have specific questions for any of your child’s teachers, come prepared with questions.
If you have a bigger issue to discuss, this is not the time or place to do it, use your three minutes to schedule a time to meet with them for 15 minutes on another day.
Please don’t expect or ask teachers to take more than three minutes with you! It’s unfair to the teachers and it’s unfair to all the other parents who are waiting
Print out the room assignments ahead of time and identify which teachers you’re going to meet with
Start from bottom to top or top down and begin signing up
Put your name down on more than one different list and note which is coming up soonest
Sometimes you’re able to meet with the first teacher or two right away if you get there right at the beginning
Keep checking back with classes and signing up for more classes.
You will be crossed off the list if you miss your turn and you will have to put your name down on the bottom of the list again.
Don’t count on the elevators, use the stairs and escalators. Wear comfortable shoes and expect to get some exercise
Translators are available in Chinese and Korean.
College & graduate students volunteer to walk around the building with parents who need help communicating with teachers.
Children are sometimes welcome. Some teachers seem to prefer them coming, others don’t, so it’s definitely optional
What to Expect:
Teachers will be assigned to particular rooms. A room list will be available online and will be distributed at the event as well.
Arista students and Big Sibs will be stationed at each room with a sign-up sheet.
Parents will need to sign up for a time slot at each room for the teachers they wish to see - Usually the student volunteer will be able to let you know how many sign-ups are ahead of you.
Your goal will be to sign up for the teachers in an order so that you will be able to meet with as many as possible.
Various student organizations will be selling baked goods and treats to raise money for their groups. Bring some cash to support these hardworking students!
Helpful Tips from Experienced Parents:
Be sure to bring a copy of your student's schedule with you. It may also be helpful to bring a photo of your student with you. Your meeting will be brief - 3 minutes is the average, so assisting the teacher to immediately recognize your student will be helpful. If you print out your student's schedule from Parent Tools, you can use the photo that is featured on that page.
The event will be very crowded and halls filled with parents rushing to sign up - Be ready for this. It can happen that if you sign up for a slot and are trying to fit other visits in, you might be bumped from a slot if other parent sign-ups do not show up, and you will have to sign up again. This is one of the challenges. The teachers and student volunteers are doing their best with this system, they will try to keep to the correct schedule but these things do happen.
Prioritize! Start with those classes where you really need to communicate with the teacher - if your kid is doing very well in a class, consider skipping that teacher.
Move quickly to your first choice rooms - You may want to start on the highest floor so you can move down to lower floors quickly.
If possible, you can divide your visits between the two days. That can take some pressure off.