Most schools are now back in session after the summer break. This means that many families are getting back into the swing of early bedtimes, homework, and, very soon, parent-teacher conferences. A parent-teacher conference is an opportunity many schools offer at the beginning of the school year for parents to meet face-to-face with their child’s teacher. During the conference, parents are informed about their child’s progress, grades, behavior, and how he or she is adjusting to the new classroom. Parents have the chance to ask any questions they may have of the teacher and learn how best to support their child during the school year. If you are parent who is separated or divorced, parent-teacher conferences can be tricky but there are steps you can take to make them as productive as possible.
Attend Parent-Teacher Conferences Together If Possible
Parents who are separated or divorced often do not get along well with one another. However, those who share a child or children are going to have to find a way to work together for the benefit of their child. If both parents can attend conferences together without serious drama or arguing, going to a parent-teacher conference together is the best way to make sure parents and teachers are on the same page.
Attending the conference together is important for several reasons. Most importantly, it sends a message to the child that the parents still have their child’s best interests at heart. Children will know that even though their parents are no longer married, they still love and care about them. This is also an excellent opportunity to show a child that part of life is communicating and cooperating with others—especially those with whom a person has had conflict with in the past. Attending together also ensures that parents will both have access to and understand the information presented by the teacher.
If one parent cannot attend the conference, it is up to the other parent to attend the meeting and take notes. When at the conference, parents may ask their child’s teacher questions such as:
- What will be expected of our child during this grade level?
- How will this grade be different than the previous?
- How can we stay involved in our child’s academic life?
- How can we best support our child so he or she will have a happy and successful school year?
Set Up Separate Times If Necessary
While attending the parent-teacher conference together is ideal, doing so may not be possible for either personal reasons or other commitments. If this is the case, both parents should still try to arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher. Teachers are familiar with divorce situations, and they will likely have a strategy for keeping both parents fully informed. Your presence and extra effort to stay involved will not go unnoticed and will ultimately help you child throughout the school year.
Call for Help
If you are a divorced parent and you have questions about your rights and responsibilities regarding your child, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney for guidance. Call 630-377-7770 for a free consultation with Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C. today