When it comes to visiting school, we educators know that some parents bring with them their own mixed experiences–lots of them negative–about school. In some cases, these feelings are so strong, they can cause a parent to avoid going to concerts or attending spring conferences.
I can help you with this, because schools have changed. Today, there are no stupid questions you can ask about your child’s education. No parent is expected to keep up with the latest trends and research–it’s hard enough for teachers, believe me. It is fine to bring along a list of questions you want to ask.
Here’s an example. It’s spring, you’re at a parent conference, and the teacher is raving about the book report your child did on Susan B. Anthony. You think, a book report? What book report? When did he read the book–I didn’t see that at home. And remind me who Susan B. Anthony is?—I’m working ten hours a day and am exhausted.
Go ahead and ask every question you have. You won’t look stupid. Your child’s teacher should easily answer every question without you feeling judged. We school people need to find more and better ways to communicate with families, and this may be one area for improvement.
A final word of advice about your questions. Sometimes the best or most important follow-up questions arise later on. Also, you may realize you don’t understand or remember what the teacher said about something. Don’t hesitate to call or email to follow up.
We want parents to ask us questions about their child because it shows that the parents are committed to their child’s learning.