Parents sit down with their child and their child's teacher for a parent teacher conference.

What to Expect at Preschool Parent Teacher Conferences

As a parent, staying informed about your child’s progress and behavior is instrumental in ensuring they are able to thrive during their preschool experience. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for parent teacher conference requests from their teachers or the preschool itself. The phrase “parent teacher conference” can stir up mixed emotions for some parents though and cause them to think their child is misbehaving or falling behind academically, when in reality, childcare centers often use them as an opportunity to communicate with parents about how their child is developing in their program.

If you’ve received an invite for an upcoming parent teacher conference you may find yourself with a few questions about the event, what it will cover and what you should prepare to help make it as productive as possible. We’re here to help you get conference-ready!

The Purpose of Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent teacher conferences are a beneficial opportunity for parents and teachers to connect on an individual level. This setting provides an open platform for discussion about your child’s progress, strengths, and areas that may need improvement. The main goal is to establish a partnership between parents and teachers to foster the best possible learning environment for your little one.

“But my child is only in preschool, do we really need to schedule a conference?” 

Absolutely! Even at this early stage, these conferences play a crucial role, children are rapidly developing, both mentally and emotionally so it becomes imperative to ensure they are on the right track and your involvement can make sure that happens. These meetings allow teachers to provide insights into your child’s social interactions, learning capabilities, emotional development, and overall progress in school.

In return, you can ask questions, express any concerns or observations that you have about your child and start a dialogue about them. Maybe your child has trouble making friends or has shown some early signs of neurodiversity at home, a parent teacher conference is your chance to communicate these things and help make sure the teacher is informed and set up to help make your child’s time in preschool a success.

How to Prepare for Your Parent Teacher Conference

Before heading to the conference, it’s a good idea to do a little preparation so you can make the most of your time there. First, jot down any questions or concerns you might have about your child’s progress. It’s easy to forget things in the moment, so having a list can help make sure that you cover everything you want to discuss. Next, take some time to reflect on your child’s behavior, interests, and strengths. This will give you a solid foundation for understanding their development and engaging in meaningful conversations with the teacher. Finally, don’t forget to bring a pen and paper to take notes during the conference. You could even purchase a spiral notebook to keep all of your parent teacher conference notes in one place and keep track of what changes over time. Trust us, you’ll want to remember all the important details!

Here’s a list of subheadings to add to your notebook and keep your preparations organized:

  • Questions/Concerns
  • Your Child’s Home Routine
  • Your Child’s Interests & Strengths
  • Your Child’s Behavior at Home

What will be Covered in the Conference

During the conference, the teacher will likely discuss various aspects of your child’s preschool experience. This may include their social interactions with peers, their ability to follow directions and participate in group activities, and their progress in developing early literacy and numeracy skills. The teacher may also share observations about your child’s behavior, such as their level of independence, attention span, and self-regulation. Additionally, the conference might touch upon any specific goals or areas of improvement that the teacher has identified for your child. 

Parent teacher conferences are not just about the exchange of information, but building relationships! Whether your child is the model preschooler or has some room for improvement in certain areas, remember to stay open to feedback, ask questions, voice concerns and share your own insights as well. 

Parent teacher conferences in preschool are a valuable opportunity for you and your child’s teachers to come together and support your child’s development. They provide a platform for open communication, sharing observations, and setting goals for the child’s progress. So, be prepared, ask questions, and remember that you and the teacher are both working towards the same goal: helping your little one thrive in their early educational journey.

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