Parent-teacher meetings are not overly favoured in Singapore when the parents are normally in a state of busyness due to their hectic schedules. Most parents will attend such meetings half-heartedly without really listening, and some will even skip the meeting for work. While parent-teacher meetings are formal events when children enter primary schools, young children in pre-schools may not have the privilege of such formal events. As a parent, it is thus our jobs to ensure that we seek a parent-teacher meeting every now and then to find out how our children are doing in school. The parent-teacher meeting need not be a long one; in fact, it can be a quick check with the teacher when you arrive to pick up your kid after work.
The parent-teacher meeting is important because of the three components below.
1) The meeting helps to build a partnership
Young children in pre-schools experience a lot of changes in their lives as they grow and learn rapidly. When you have regular meetings with the teacher, you have a better idea of your child’s academic and social achievements. When you take time to understand what your child is doing in school, you are also signalling to the teacher that you take an avid interest in your child’s well-being and education. In return, the teacher will be more active in speaking to you if she senses any changes in your child.
2) The meeting helps you to gather information about your child
The parent-teacher meeting also helps you to gather information about your child’s academic progress and social development. This means you discuss all aspects of your child’s achievements with the teacher – how quickly he is learning to sing a new song and how he interacts with the other children are both priorities in your discussion. If your child has spoken to you about certain unpleasant events, be sure to bring it up to the teacher as well.
3) The meeting helps you to develop a plan for your child
The parent-teacher meeting can also be used to cultivate a plan for your child’s academic and social needs that both the teacher and you are committed to fulfil. If your child is more advanced than the rest of the class, the teacher may suggest additional projects or learning that he can undertake to prevent boredom in class. If your child has some learning difficulties, then your initiative in asking for a parent-teacher meeting can be the catalyst in getting him extra help or getting him a screening test for learning disabilities. The meeting with the teacher will help you to work together with the teacher to find the best possible learning methods for your child.
Parent-teacher meetings are important in early childhood because of the formative years of the child. Investing time in asking the teacher about your child is the best way to keep a conversation going between the teacher and you so that you will always be informed about abnormal behaviours from your child.