Parent-Teacher Interviews – Why They’re Important and What You Should be Asking

Jun 8, 2017NCEA

Parents often ask us:

“How can I best support my child through High School?”

The answer is probably more simple than you would expect. One of the most important things that parents can do to help their children through their schooling is to keep updated on their academic progress.


One of the most important things that parents can do to help their children through their schooling is to keep updated on their academic progress. For many parents, checking in on their child’s academics involves simply asking:

“How was your day at school?”

However, questions like the above often don’t entice the most comprehensive or revealing responses. So, if teenagers are not likely to answer your questions with more than a grunt, how do you keep up to date with your child’s academic progress?

Parent-teacher interviews

Parent-teacher interviews are a great opportunity to check in with your child’s teachers about their academic progress.

Parent teacher interviews can sometimes seem pointless and not overly comprehensive. We find that parents often come out of parent-teacher interviews feeling that the answers they’ve received are very impersonal.

Your child may try to convince you that parent-teacher interviews aren’t important, as many students often do. However, this may be one of the only opportunities for you and your child to talk openly with their teachers about their academic progress.

So how can you get the most out of parent-teacher interviews?

Below is a list of questions that will prompt personalized and perceptive answers from your child’s teachers.

Questions to ask your child’s teachers

– What are the most important ideas that my child needs to understand by the end of the year in preparation for the next school year?

– What can I do to support my child’s confidence and skills at home?

– What kinds of questions do you suggest that I ask my child on a daily basis about your class?

– How do you measure my child’s progress? How will we know when my child is improving/progressing?

– What would you say my child’s biggest strength or achievement has been so far this year?

– How engaged would you say my child is in your classroom?

– How organised would you say my child is in your classroom?

– What would you say is the biggest challenge facing my child for the next term is?

– What goals should my child be working towards next term?

– What approaches have resulted in my child making the most progress so far? Is this something we can reinforce with them at home?

– What kind of personality traits does my child portray in the classroom?

These thought-provoking questions will stimulate your child’s teachers to give more comprehensive answers that will allow you to really gauge how your child is progressing.

Going into parent teacher interviews prepared and with the above questions in mind will help you have a positive conversation with your child’s teacher. Knowing the answers to the above questions will allow you to better support your child throughout the rest of the school year.

Instead of simply accepting your child’s “good!” when you ask them how school is going, engage with their teachers to find out how your child is progressing and how they could improve.

Remember: learning starts at home, so being aware of what areas your child needs extra help in will benefit them greatly!

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