Making the most of Back to School Night is a tricky proposition–especially for middle and high school parents, who may only spend 10-15 minutes in each of their student’s 6 classrooms–not much time after the teacher completes her/his presentation and 20 other parents are asking questions. Plus, Back to School Night is usually 2-3 weeks after school starts, so a kid’s initial impressions (with a little youthful lobbying) have begun to make their mark on parent’s minds. Throw in “what other parents and former students of that teacher are saying” and the value of each minute left in each classroom has multiplied.
Parents can take those remaining moments to see how their kid’s views are true (or not). They can compare what they observe of the teacher’s presentation style, classroom set-up (e.g. assignments clearly written on the board, overhead use or not, piles of paper on the teacher’s desk or not etc) with their student’s impressions and make assumptions about how their kid will, will not or a combination of both be able to learn with the teacher–no matter the kid’s natural inclination or not toward the subject matter. Understanding the learning relationship between the teacher and their student will help parent knowing how to best support their child through the school year.