As teachers and students throughout the state dive into the fall semester, educators are offering advice for parents who will soon begin parent-teacher conferences.
Conferences can build relationships that last throughout the year, said Glenda Cook, a first-grade teacher at Monroe Elementary School in Oklahoma City. It's a way for parents and teachers to start the year as partners in education.
“We both want what's best for the children,” Cook said.
Parents should feel comfortable asking questions about more than grades and behavior, according to Oklahoma A+ Schools, a network of more than 70 schools statewide. The discussion can be a learning experience for both parents and teachers — not just a quick exchange of facts.
For Cook, conferences are a chance for her to find out more about students and then integrate that into the classroom. For example, if students are interested in space, she can blend those interests into lessons on literacy and the arts.
That kind of lesson planning starts with open dialogue.
“Communication is key so parents don't feel intimidated or worry about what they're going to hear,” she said. “It's not just me in the classroom with their kids. It's more about teamwork. We're all on the same team.”