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Friday, 02 February 2018 10:10

Understanding the questions asked at Teacher and Parenting Meetings: Part Two

Part Two

A follow on from ‘What to ask Teachers and Professionals during Meetings’

The first few questions have shown a great deal about your child. These questions are a useful base to ground the following questions.

If you have not read ‘What to ask Teachers and Professionals during Meetings’ please take a moment to read this article first.

Reviewing and understanding the questions - the benefits of the right answers

Questions 6 – 10

6. What are my child’s differences (socially, emotionally, physically and mentally)?

  • This question is a repeat of number 3 but with a specific focus on differences as these are the areas you will need to address in order to assist your child. Why repeat the question? Frequently, information can be overlooked or left out during meetings accidently. By reiterating the question at a later stage this can reinforce the focuses because these will be repeated. New information will be introduced that previously may have been missed. The concerns brought up twice should definitely be your starting point to assisting your child.

7. Does my child participate?

  • This can mean anything from being a team leader, team player, active team member, dedicated, helpful, diligent or a motivator. Remember, an extroverted and an introverted child will play different roles in these situations. What is important is that they are involved.
  • This is to establish your child’s personality and reflects potential traits your child might have. This question is very useful for higher grades assisting in subject choices, tertiary education decisions and career opportunities.
  • Understanding your child’s role will also help your child and you establish how they work in a group and how they can develop their strengths to assist in these areas.
  • Participation is vital to learning and it gives children a sense of belonging which is valuable to a child.
  • It is important to know that your child is involved. A child who is not involved or lacks interest is a concern.

8. How is my child learning and functioning in a classroom environment or sessions (individual and/or group)? Does their behaviour differ in different subjects (Physical Education, Music, Computers, languages, Maths etc.)?

  • Understanding how your child learns will assist your child in developing healthy study methods.
  • Learning about your child’s behaviour and functioning in various settings can explain a lot about their performance. Behaviour and function determine how your child is coping in the classroom/session situation. Behaviour and functioning need to be addressed if concerns are present.
  • What kind of learner is your child? Visual, Auditory, Tactile or Kineasthetic
    • Visual learners need diagrams, pictures and some have photographic memory.
    • Auditory learners learn by using sound, reading or written work, they can be good listeners, study with music, learn songs about their work, use taperecorders to listen to their lessons again, make notes, enjoy group discussions and teaching other children.
    • Tactile learners use touch to learn. They may enjoy more practical subjects or subjects that use ‘touch’. Consumer studies and biology are often preferred by this group. Using objects with different textures also assists in learning i.e. a soft pencil/pen grip may be preferred to harder grips.
    • Kineasthetic learners benefit from movement. They would enjoy visiting a museum or learning outside. They may need to pace when reading work or be given a ‘fidget toy’. These learners are often considered ‘problem learners’ but this can be easily solved by allowing them to doodle, play with putty or have a pillow under their chair to tap their feet – forcing these learners to keep still inhibits their learning. They tend to enjoy discussing materials or working in groups and prefer more practical subjects.

9. What will you be teaching my child? Areas of focus.

  • This targets pre-primary and foundation phase learners. You need to be able to guide your child and supervise their homework. If you know in advance what is being done at school you can include these activities at home and reinforce the concepts. It also gives you the opportunity to ‘catch up’ on any academic work your child may ask you about or need your assistance (nobody likes to be caught ‘off guard’). This group of learners must have assistance when doing their homework but as you move further up the grades start letting them work independently. It is still useful to know in higher grades what your child will be learning but your involvement will be significantly less.

10. How will you do this? What methods or approaches will you use? Can I implement these at home?

  • This is the practical side of question 9. It is essential to understand what is expected of you and how you will implement this at home.
  • Ask the teacher to outline their teaching methods/approaches.
  • Ask about classroom logistics.
  • If your child has any learning differences it is important to query how the teacher will adapt her methods and classroom logistics to assist your child.
  • Ask as many questions as necessary to be sure you understand your role as the parent and what the teacher expects from you. To have a proper functioning system to assist your child you must be able to fulfil your role effectively.

In conclusion, these questions answer what is everyone’s role. Your child’s academic progress revolves around teamwork among the teacher, parents and the child (or other professionals when necessary). The questions provide a guideline of what is required from each party. Furthermore, the questions help you understand how your child functions, what the expectations are and the practical application of what needs to be achieved. How this information is interpreted and used is highly influential on your child’s performance at school. Part three will give a more detailed information about the above.

Every Mistake is a Step Closer to Achieveing your Goal

Understanding the questions to ask at Teacher and Professional Meetings Part Three