Written by Meghan Owen, School Director
Parent, Teacher and Dancer Communication
We have found that dancers do better in dance class when parents get involved. Attending parent–teacher conferences is one way to be involved and help your dancer succeed here at Chara Christian Dance Academy. A parent–teacher conference is a great opportunity to discuss your dancer’s progress in each of their classes, share your dancer’s strengths and needs with their teachers, work with their teachers to help your dancer do well in their dance classes and work towards meeting their dance goals.
Parent–teacher conferences usually happen once a year here at Chara Christian Dance Academy in the fall. They’re brief meetings, lasting about 15 minutes. We set aside a specific date and times for conferences each fall semester, but if it conflicts with your schedule, we encourage you to try to find another time that works. If you can’t make it to the studio, ask your dancer’s teacher if you can schedule a phone conference instead. Your dancer may attend the conference, but parents also can ask for private time with the teacher.
Before the Conference
Some parents may be tracking their dancer’s progress and already have discussion topics ready for the teacher while others have yet to have a one-on-one discussion with the teacher. Regardless of your previous interactions it is helpful to come prepared. Know ahead of time how your dancer is doing and what you want to discuss. Even if you know all is well, attending conferences shows your dancers that you’re interested in how they do in dance class.
How to Make the Most of This Meeting
- In the weeks ahead of a conference, talk to your dancers about how they’re doing on their skills/exercises in each genre of dance they take. Ask if there are questions or issues your dancer wants you to discuss with the teacher.
- Review fall progress reports being sent home November 2nd-7th.
- Think of a few things about your dancer that you would like to share with the teacher so that they can get to know your dancer better – interests, strengths, favorite genres.
- Write down questions or topics you’d like the conference to cover. Depending on your situation, you may want to ask about:
- whether your dancer is meeting level expectations for the class they are enrolled in (not how he or she compares with peers)
- what the teacher sees as your dancer’s strengths and challenges and how these are being addressed
- other services to help your dancer grow as a learner such as private lessons
- making a plan to check in regularly if there are any learning or behavior problems
- your dancer’s work habits and effort during class
- how your dancer gets along with other dancers in class
If any studio-related problems arise, please contact the School Director, Ms. Meghan, by phone (832-569-4065) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). You don’t have to wait until parent–teacher conference time to handle your concerns.
During the Conference
Teachers usually meet with parents in back-to-back meetings, so try to be on time for your meeting. Remember to get your teacher’s contact information and take notes as needed. Conferences focus on learning, although behavior and social concerns might be discussed. The teacher will review your dancer’s progress, including strengths and areas in need of improvement. You also might talk about:
- how and what your dancer is learning
- authentic assessment information the teacher may have
- your dancer’s transition to their current level placement
- how your child gets along with friends and teachers
- how you and the teacher can partner together to improve your dancer’s progress
- ideas or resources that you can use to support dance learning at home
- potential next steps for your dancer
After the Conference
To follow up after the meeting:
- Contact the teacher with any questions you didn’t have time to ask.
- Review your notes about what you and the teacher will do to support learning, then make plans about how and when you will help your dancer.
- If you still have concerns or do not agree with the Fall Progress Report, put your thoughts in writing and schedule a meeting with the teacher or School Director, Ms. Meghan, as soon as mutually convenient.
- Check in with the teacher to follow up on your dancer’s progress.
- Review what was discussed at the conference with your dancer, including any special learning plans, and share the positive comments the teacher made.
Keep in mind that you and your dancer’s teacher have the same goal: To help your dancer succeed and find JOY in dance!