mADD skills

ABCs of Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences


Many parents feel they must steel themselves to get through the ordeal of report cards and parent-teacher conferences that are just around the corner, but it doesn’t have to be so.


Parents, teachers, and often students meet to share information; review expectations, grades, and policies; discuss social and academic participation; and discuss your child’s progress. Learning the basic ABCs of collaborative parent-teacher conferences will help you, your child, and teacher work as a team to ensure your child’s success.


Pair statements with questions to engage. No one likes to be told what to do. Engage your child and teacher so they are more likely to participate and follow through with suggestions. The same questions can easily be changed to address each team person.



Developing respectful relationships and building a team approach to learning requires attention to the golden rule: “Treat others as you wish to be treated.” There are no adversaries here. Everyone in this partnership is working toward success for the student.



Acknowledge efforts of both team members. There is always common ground to find, because you are on the same side. Praise specific effort rather judge achievement. Find a way to communicate that you understand their job is hard and important; that you notice and appreciate their efforts. Isn’t that what we all want to hear?

ABCs 600

It really can be as easy to work together at parent-teacher conferences as learning your ABCs – including being mindful of our P’s and Q’s.

Together, let’s make this the best year yet for our students.

Read the full article written by Joan as an author on


You Might Also Like


  • Reply Victoria Ess May 23, 2016 at 5:34 am

    These ABCs could definitely be applied to both sides of the table at parent teacher conferences.

    • Reply Joan May 23, 2016 at 9:12 am

      I agree. That is why it is a triangle as the parent(s), the teacher(s), and the child(ren) need to work together to be most effective.

  • Reply Krista M May 29, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    A lot of parents I know head into PT interviews with guns blazing ready for a fight, so angry about the smallest details. Parents & teachers are a TEAM working for the success of the child & we need to respect & listen to each other. I think more people need to be aware of these ABC’s.

  • Leave a Reply