Academic Conferences: Problem Solving

  • Don’t wait!  Call to arrange a conference with the teacher.

    Make sure your child attends the conference with you.

    Ask the teacher to state the problem.

    Ask clarifying questions such as:

    • Does my child turn in homework?
    • How are his/her tests/quiz scores?
    • Has there been a change in homework or test scores?
    • Does my child understand the information presented?

    How is the attendance and behavior in class?

    How can my child get extra help at school in this subject?

    Make a plan together with clear steps for the student, teacher, and parent.

    Follow through!


  • Start by asking the teacher to identify the problem as she sees it.

    Q:  My son’s grades on algebra are all D’s or F’s. He says the class is boring. He doesn’t like his teacher and says she picks on him. But he doesn’t want me to get involved. What should I do?    A:  Don’t wait. Get involved now. These are all signs that your son is in pretty serious danger of failing this class. Ask the school to set up a conference with the algebra teacher. Make sure your son attends—he needs to be a part of this problem-solving conversation.Then ask her to show you the grade book.

    Does your son fail to turn in homework, or does he just not understand the information presented in class?  Is his attendance good? What about his in-class behavior?

    Once you have a better idea of the problem, you can all start to try to come up with solutions.  Your son has a big responsibility too. How can he bring up his grade? Does he need to spend more time on homework? Does he need to ask questions in class?  It’s not too late for your son to bring up his grade. Let the teacher know that both you and your son are committed to solving this problem. He’ll probably find that once he does his assignments and comes to class prepared, the class will seem less boring. As the teacher helps him with his work, he’ll also be able to develop a more positive relationship with her.