Top 4 Questions to ask during Parent Interview

As we reach the middle of the year, your child’s mid-year report is right around the corner! This is a great indicator of how your child is progressing, and gives you the opportunity to see how you can help your child improve for the next 2 terms. These reports also gives parents a snapshot at where your child’s interests lie, and how to approach their teachers when parent-teacher interviews roll around! 😁

With the mid-year report comes a students worst nightmare; the parent-teacher interview. Particularly in high school, this time can be incredibly stressful for parents as they attempt to talk to most, if not all, of their child’s teachers! We recommend having your child come with you to these interviews, so they can asks any questions and take initiative in how to improve their studies. Most schools set a 5 minute limit on the amount of time you get to spend with each teacher, so we have crafted a list for parents to use to get the most information out of their child’s teacher in such a short period of time!

  1. How has my child progressed throughout the year? Have their results improved, remained the same, or gotten worse?
  2. What can my child do to improve upon their results for the next two terms?
  3. What is their behaviour like in class? Do they follow all the class rules and stay attentive?
  4. What is the highest result for the exam? What was the average result? What was the lowest result?

These four questions are a sure-fire way to make sure you get the most amount of information from your child’s teacher! If you aren’t happy with your child’s results in their mid-year reports, or are looking for some extra guidance, try one of our tutoring sessions to get them back on track!

The Fourth Question

The fourth question in particular is very important because at MarkitUP that is the very specific question that we ask all of our students whenever they come back with a result. It helps us objectively evaluate and determine where your child is progressing academically in comparsion to their cohort without feeling overwhelmingly excited or disappointed. 

Let’s take a look at scenario #1, if your child came home and said “Mum! Dad! Look! I got 98% in my Maths test!” – Would you be thrilled? – Yeah you would be – naturally. 

But what happens if I told you 10 students got 100%, 8 students got 99% and 12 students got 98%? That means your child is ranked 30th – which is the bottom of the class (presumably the top class). OVERALL, it isn’t a bad mark. But do you NOT question the quality of the exam? What happen if the teacher gave a really easy exam? I remember, when I had a consultation with a parent who showed me their daughter’s Linear Relationship’s exam paper where she got 97% in. She said “I am shocked I got this mark. I was away for majority of the topic and really only had 1 lesson before this exam.” This child excelled in an exam without being taught a single thing. I personally looked at the exam and it was nothing of a Year 8 Linear Relationship exam standard. 

Now, this leads me to the next scenario. Scenario #2.

Imagine your child came home really depressed and said “I’m sorry Mum and Dad. I only 65%.” You’ll might jump out of your seat. “What???!” But if you asked her the fourth question. She might say, the highest mark is 70%, average was 45% and the lowest mark was 15%. Wow – maybe your child came 5th in this test! This is actually a BETTER rank than scenario one. 

I know. It doesn’t make you feel better. 

But let’s dig a bit more. Generally there are a couple of reasons for this situation. If we take scenario 1 into considersation – if so many students did well with such great marks, it is very difficult to differentiate student’s abilities. This means that the school will have to give everyone A’s. So the school might make the exam very difficult by (1) having alot of difficult questions; or (2) reduce the time given significantly. This puts alot of pressure on students and I can understand if they had a mind blank in the exam and didn’t write much. 

Taking into consideration of the quality of the exam in scenario 2 and the rank, scenario 2 isn’t too bad. 

So remember to take a pen and paper to the parent interviews to make notes of the data when you ask the fourth question in the parent interviews!

Good luck!

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