Your children’s teachers can reveal interesting stuff about them – things that may delight you and news that may surprise or even shock you. Here are a few tips for sailing with confidence through a parent-teacher meeting.

1. Jot it down

Take notes of the teacher’s suggestions. These will help you remember what was said. Also, any disconcerting news you hear may blur your thoughts, causing you to remember the emotions instead of the facts. Once everything is written down, you can go through each point at your leisure, over a cup of tea. Hold the interruptions Teachers think long and hard about what they’d like to discuss with you before they make a phone call or meet you face to face, so hear them out. It takes a lot of courage for teachers to speak to parents while trying to be as diplomatic and respectful as possible.

2. Talk it out

As important as it is to listen to the teacher’s concerns, it is also beneficial for you to make a few suggestions that she can use to help your child. After all, no one knows your child better than you do. Teachers really appreciate hearing your tried-and-tested strategies. Also, if there’s anything going on at home that may be significant, take the teacher into your confidence – the more information she has at her fingertips, the more easily she’ll be able to understand and encourage your little one.

3. Quick fix

Don’t look for a quick solution to any problems that have cropped up. Rather take time to listen to what the teacher is saying, and talk this over later with your family. Set up a time when you and your partner can meet with the teacher. Alternatively, you could check in on your child’s progress via email or a phone call.

4. Feedback

It’s a good idea to share with your child any relevant information you glean from the meeting. It’s important to be as tactful as possible, and to include all positive feedback.