Sunday, September 30, 2007

Parent-Teacher Conferences: The Role of the Montessori Parent

NAMC montessori parent role parent teacher conferences reading together

Lately, I've been writing about how we, as Montessori teachers, can best communicate with parents. Many of us, though, have children of our own, and can find ourselves on the other side of the table as Mom or Dad.

Those of us who are parents know that sinking, “pit-in-your-stomach” feeling when we get a message from our child’s teacher. We anticipate bad news, knowing that a message from a teacher usually pertains to behavior or schoolwork. We feel ourselves remembering how it felt to be a child, knowing that the teacher was going to call our own parents.

So, how do we prepare ourselves in anticipation of that face to face meeting? There are definitely ways to ensure that all parties benefit and I have provided a list of key areas to focus on.

Parent-Teacher Conferences : The Role of the Montessori Parent


How to get the most out of your Parent-Teacher Meeting
  • Prepare for the meeting by going in with an open mind, knowing that your goal is to ensure that your child is thriving in his/her Montessori classroom.
  • Be sure to have a pen and paper handy to take notes and write down thoughts as they occur during the conversation.
  • Listen attentively and allow the Montessori teacher to thoroughly explain the situation before asking questions.
  • Gather more information by asking questions (remember the 6 W’s: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?)
  • Ask what interventions have been tried.
  • Ask the teacher for strategies to help your child.
  • Work with your child to form some problem-solving strategies.
  • Arrange for a follow-up meeting or conversation with the teacher.

A call from your child’s Montessori teacher is a way for the teacher to reach out to you. It is a means of opening the door to communication and building a partnership to best address the needs of your child.
Don’t forget to schedule that all important follow-up!

Take your preparation even further, read Paula Polk Lillard’s book Montessori: A Modern Approach. Click here for more details.

Related NAMC Blogs::
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Sunday, September 30, 2007.

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