It’s that time of year again! Homework and projects are piling up and fall sports are in full swing. That also means Back to School Night is swiftly approaching!
For many of you this may be your very first Back to School night while for others it’s your last one before your child heads off to college. Either way, it is likely the first time you are meeting your child’s teacher for the year. It is an important night that you should definitely attend prepared!
Back to School Night sets the stage for the entire year. It is when teachers get the opportunity to explain to parents what to expect during the school year as well as how their class will be run. It is also the time when parents get to know the person that will be their child’s “second parent” for the next 10 months!
For some parents, this can be an overwhelming and almost nerve racking experience while for others it is exciting and an evening they look forward to every year! For parents, Back to School Night is a chance to make a good impression on your child’s teacher while also meeting fellow parents. Back to School Night is also an important time to ask questions and be present in your child’s academic career!
To help parents arrive more prepared and less nervous, I, with the help of my friends and colleagues, developed a list of questions to ask you child’s teacher at Back to School Night. Now, this is obviously not an exhaustive list, and although it is broken down my school levels, you can use questions from all areas. In addition, some of these questions may be answered during your teacher’s presentation so use this as a guide for what to look for during that presentation.
5 Questions to Ask Your Child’s Teacher at Back to School Night:
- How often will my child receive individualized attention and/or small group instruction?
- How often will he/she get homework and how long should it take to complete?
- Is after school tutoring available? If not, where can I go for extra help?
- What should I be doing at home to encourage learning?
- How often should my child read at home?
Bonus: Can you provide me with a list of book recommendations?
- Is after school tutoring available, and if so, how often?
- How will you prepare my child to transition to high school? (more for 8th graders)
- How long should it take for my child to complete homework each night?
- What are some educational apps that you recommend?
- If my child is struggling emotionally, who can I reach out to?
- Are you available for assistance after school? If yes, when?
- How can I find out what my child has for homework if they do not bring home an agenda book/planner?
- Do you offer extra credit opportunities?
- How is this class preparing my child for college?
- Are there opportunities for differentiated instruction? (This means teaching to the unique needs of each child to maximize learning.)
As a bonus for high school, here are 5 questions to also ask your child’s guidance counselor:
- When should we begin looking at colleges?
- How often will you be meeting with my child?
- What programs are offered to help my child improve?
- How do we go about contacting you and/or making an appointment to discuss my child’s progress and/or future?
- What resources are available in the school?
One question to ask teachers for ALL grades is: What is the best way to get in touch with you? If contact information is not already provided, it is so important to find out the best way to reach out to your child’s teacher. Additionally, if you feel your child is struggling at any point during the school year, make sure you contact your teacher and guidance counselor!
So enjoy Back to School Night! Make sure you arrive prepared with this list of questions and any other questions you may have! This will be the start of a great school year!!
It is important to note that many of these questions may be answered during the teachers presentation but if not, just like we tell our kids, don’t be afraid to raise ur hand. It is so important to show the teacher that your family takes education seriously and you are very involved in your child’s academic career.