Parent-teacher interviews are a great opportunity for parents to learn about their child's progress in school. However, it can be concerning if the teacher raises issues about your child's academic performance. This blog post will help you understand what to do next and how to support your child at home.
When teachers raise concerns, sometimes, our first instinct is to feel defensive. We could feel fear about our child's future, worry that they will experience failure, or perhaps recall our own struggles in school. We may also experience confusion, defensiveness, or even embarrassment.
Put on your detective hat
When the teacher raises concerns, the first step is to listen carefully to what they share, and the second step is to ask questions and gather information. They are there to help your child succeed, so their feedback is valuable. Ask the following questions to gather more information about what they are seeing, and what they recommend.
What specific areas is my child struggling in? Can you provide examples?
How severe are the concerns?
Are there any underlying reasons for these issues that you can identify?
What kind of support is currently in place at school to help my child with this?
What kind of supports could be in place to help my child at school?
How can I support my child at home and in the community?
What comes next…
Sometimes, teachers recommend that your child receive additional supports within or outside of the school. The following resources may be recommended. If they are, ensure to ask the school’s ability to provide these resources “in-house”, and their timelines. Each school board has different availability of the below services, and different wait times.
Special Education Services: Your school may have programs or services to support children with different learning needs.
Tutoring: It may be encouraged to enroll your child in tutoring sessions to help them fill academic gaps.
Speech Therapy or Occupational Therapy: These therapies can address speech or motor skills difficulties noticed at school.
Counseling: If the concerns are emotional or behavioral, a school counselor, or community/private therapist in the community can be beneficial.
Psychoeducational Assessment: If the academic concerns are longstanding and the academic gaps wide, an assessment with a psychologist may be recommended. A psychoeducational assessment can explore your child’s learning profile and provide you with well informed recommendations to support their academic success.
Decisions don’t need to be made at the parent teacher meeting! Take your time, consider what you’ve learned, and explore the options presented. Stay in touch with your child's teacher and schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss your decision, and track progress. This will help you and the teacher work together to support your child effectively.
When a teacher raises concerns about your child, it's an opportunity to collaborate and provide the best possible support. Listening, asking questions, and seeking additional help can make a significant difference in your child's educational journey. Remember, you are the expert on your child, and your involvement and dedication are crucial in helping your child thrive in school.
Want help finding the right team to help you support your child? WonderTree is a pediatric hub that has a multidisciplinary team built to provide support tailored to each youth’s specific strengths and needs. Our team includes educational consultants, tutors, psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, and executive functioning coaches that can help support your child’s school success.