At The International Preschools, parent/teacher conferences are held twice a year: once in the fall and once in the spring. This year, the fall conferences will be held on November 4th and 5th for Green, Pre-K, and Junior K classrooms. The Red Room conferences occur in December, to allow for our youngest students to acclimate better to school.
Parents of students new to our school, or new to the preschool environment in general, may wonder why it is important to attend a parent/teacher conference for such young children, or what they will learn that’s necessary to know at this time. Here’s what you’ll learn at your child’s conference, and why it’s so important for parents to attend…
- Separation: For the Red Room students, separation is a significant part of their daily routine. The Red Room children go through a lengthy and gentle separation process, and each child goes through this transition differently; some children will separate quickly, while others will need more time. The teachers will fill parents in on how their child is doing, what strategies they’ve used, and what to do next (if anything!).
- Transitions: Throughout the school day, children go through many transitions both inside the classroom (from “meeting time” to “snack”) and outside the classroom (from the gym to the library). The ability to transition smoothly is important for many reasons; it shows an ability to acclimate to new environments, to be able to start and stop activities smoothly, and to follow directions from their teachers, to name a few. Children from Red Room to Junior K practice this skill throughout their entire preschool careers.
- Social/Emotional Skills: Skills such as initiating play with other children, displaying impulse control, and expressing thoughts and needs using words are just a few abilities that fall under this topic. It is an important one, as children will need to be proficient in these areas over the course of their lifetime.
- Cognitive Skills: The ability to retain information, make connections between home and school (that is, use information learned at home where needed in the school environment), and general knowledge of shapes, colors, letters, and numbers fall under this category. At IPS, teachers are looking for children to increase their abilities on an individual basis. For example, one child may come into a Green Room recognizing the entire alphabet; a cognitive goal for this child would perhaps be to learn how to write those letters or make letter/sound connections (i.e. C is for cat). Another child may enter a Green Room only knowing the first letter in his/her name; this child’s goal may be to learn all of the letters in his/her name over the course of the next few months.
Fine Motor/Gross Motor Skills: The strengthening of muscles for fine motor (hand) and gross motor (full body) skills is an important part in the life of a preschooler. Activities such as playing with play dough, using small Legos, and picking up items with tweezers strengthens the muscles in your child’s hands, which prepares them for writing. Running, jumping, climbing, and pedaling a tricycle fall under gross motor skills; strong core muscles also assist in other areas, such as allowing children to sit for longer periods of time.
- Life After IPS: For our Pre-K classes, teachers are available to discuss the ongoing school process and readiness, whether the children are heading to kindergarten in public school or private school.
- Interests/Goals: Teachers will share with you what your child’s school day is like, including his/her interests, areas of strength, and areas to work on. These interests may be ones that are different than the interests that your child shows at home! During the fall conference, teachers will discuss goals for the upcoming school months; the progress towards these goals will be reviewed at your child’s spring conference.
Our fall and spring conferences help build a relationship between parents and teachers, whose ultimate goal is what is best for your child. It is a valuable experience that all parents should engage in. Be sure to sign up for your conference today if you haven’t done so already!
Want to take a look into an IPS classroom? View photos of a typical classroom by clicking here.