Making the most of Parent Teacher Interviews

Wed, March 28, 2018

Parent Teacher interviews are regular part of all schools' calendars and provide parents with the opportunity to discuss their child's academic progress. Interview timeslots are often limited, so how can parents make the most of their time with the teachers?  We asked the staff at St Mark's for their thoughts.

Prepare

The focus of Parent Teacher interviews is the academic progress of your child.

Talk to your child. Ask your child if they have any concerns or if there are areas in which they would like to improve. Discuss homework, their study timetable and as well as areas where they are feeling confident. 

Take the time to log in to SEQTA Engage ahead of the interview. SEQTA Engage is the key to a constructive discussion. It provides important information on which to base your questions to the teacher. Through SEQTA Engage, parents have access to all the assessment results, teacher feedback and student reflections. Engage also offers information on programs, assessment outlines and some homework. If you need help logging in or navigating SEQTA Engage, please email engagesupport@stmarks.wa.edu.au

Decide which teachers you really need to see. Interviews are not compulsory. If you are happy with your child's progress, then there is no need to schedule an interview. If you have concerns about a particular learning area, please book an appointment using the PTO system. If you notice a yellow dot next to the teachers' name in the PTO system, it means the teacher has specifically requested a chat with you. There is a useful guide to using the PTO system in this article.

Bring your child with you to the interview. Interviews are a great way to ensure you and your child have a common understanding of classroom progress. While teachers will have provided feedback via SEQTA and in class, the interviews offer the chance for both parents and students to ask for additional feedback and clarify goals. 

Ask Questions

We asked the teaching staff at St Mark's what questions they would like parents to ask. These are the top 10 responses:

  1. Does my child participate in the classroom, i.e. join in discussions, volunteer information and ask questions?
  2. Does my child ask for help during class?
  3. Does my child finish set work during class time?
  4. What can my child do to improve?
  5. If my child is struggling, how can they access extra help?
  6. Does my child complete their homework on a regular basis?
  7. What could my child be doing at home to consolidate learning?
  8. How can I support my child at home?
  9. How much homework/study should they be doing at home?
  10. If my child is absent from class, what is the expectation on them to catch up?

Follow Up

After the interview, set some time aside with your child and help them to set some goals based on the feedback received. There is an area within SEQTA Learn (visible to parents though SEQTA Engage) that allows students to set themselves goals.  Parents can track dates of upcoming assessments and some homework tasks through SEQTA, as well as continue to see feedback and assessment results.

If the child's teacher has recommended a follow up interview or an extended discussion, please coordinate with the teacher to find an appropriate date and time.

The Learning Potential website has additional tips for parents.