Singleton High School

Fostering the talents of students for a better future.

Telephone02 6571 1199

Emailsingleton-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Parent-teacher interviews

Parent Teacher Interviews are important opportunities to discuss your child’s development and progress with their teachers.

Here are some tips to prepare for Parent Teacher Interviews.

Arrange for an Interpreter if needed

If you need an interpreter, let us know before the interview. Call 131 450 and ask for an interpreter in your language. The operator will get an interpreter on the line to help you. This service is free.

Positive Approach

Approach the interview with a positive and relaxed attitude, remember you and the teacher are partners in your child’s education. Be clear and confident in raising any concerns and allow the teacher to give you an explanation. Teachers are commmitted to students achieving their best - you are on the same team.

Do Your Homework

Take a few minutes before the meeting to jot down any questions or comments you have. Because interviews usually only run 10 to 15 minutes it’s good to have a reminder of the points you wanted to raise. Common questions may include:

  • How is my child fitting in with other children?
  • What are the students working on now?
  • Is there anything about my child’s needs that I should know?
  • Does my child ask questions, participate in class discussions and other activities?
  • Is my child’s progress satisfactory?
  • What activities does my child seem to enjoy the most at school?
  • Who are my child’s friends?
  • Does my child join in with other children in the playground?
  • What kinds of things will the class be doing over the next few weeks?
  • How is my child progressing in comparison to others in the year?
  • Is there anything I can be doing to help my child at home?
  • Do you have any concerns about my child?
  • Can you tell me the best time and way to contact you if I have a query or concern?

Also, list anything that might be happening at home that may be helpful for your child’s teacher to know. If your child has seen a specialist for example, there may be some information that is important for the teacher or the school counsellor to know.

After the Interview

It’s important to discuss the meeting with your child and really congratulate them on their strengths. If the teacher made suggestions of things you could do at home, discuss these with your child and commit to following through with them. Being involved at school in some volunteering capacity is also a great way to be more involved in your child's learning and makes approaching teachers and other staff easier.

Keep in Touch

If there are ongoing concerns, then stay in touch with the teacher and together continue to monitor progress. If there’s something happening at home with your child or family that can affect their learning or behaviour at school you should let the school or teacher know. If the teacher raises issues about your child’s learning, development or behaviour, your goal will be to understand the plan to manage that during the school day and how you can help at home.

For example, if your child needs to pay more attention in class and stop distracting others, a behaviour diary which travels between class and home every day may be a good suggestion. The idea is the teacher updates you with a short, written account of your child’s day, so you can discuss it with your child each evening. Ask the teacher what sort of strategies they have in mind and how you can help.

The parent-teacher interview is not the only time you can discuss your child with the teacher, but many parents and carers find it’s their only opportunity to visit the school. Ask the teacher how you can best communicate with each other in the future. Many teachers make appointments to see or call you outside of school hours, others find email works well. Between 8:30am and 3:30pm is non-stop for teachers, and their primary responsibility each day is to teach their students. Teachers can’t leave their class unattended to talk with you, so please be flexible and understanding when trying to make contact.

Your Child’s Year Adviser

Your child's Year Adviser is a great point of contact when you have a question or problem that’s not specific to one subject area. If, for example, your child doesn’t seem to be on top of their homework (or says they’re not getting any homework) the year adviser would be the person to call. They can have a chat with the teachers involved and get back to you. The same goes with social problems your child may be having. Year advisers try to get to know all ‘their’ kids on a more personal level and can keep an eye on how your child is progressing.

Further Options

If you’ve talked to the teacher and still aren’t satisfied with the outcome, you can always make an appointment to discuss your concerns with the head teacher, year adviser, deputy or principal. You can bring a support person with you to any meeting at the school. If you need the help of an interpreter, let them know when you make the appointment, so they can arrange to have someone on the phone or at the meeting to help you.