Don't be afraid to bring up concerns you have with your child's teacher.

What Do Preschool Teachers Discuss at Parent Teacher Conferences?

by Christina Schnell

Meeting with your preschooler's teacher might cause some anxiety. For example, perhaps you're expecting to hear that your kiddo is a distraction in class with her constant talking -- and that the entire preschool community now knows every detail of your recent leg-waxing fiasco thanks to your Little Miss Chatty. Contrary to what you might fear, parent-teacher preschool conferences are mostly just a structured 15 to 20-minute session to openly discuss your preschooler. And, although preschool teachers tend to focus on the positive aspects of their students, according to the KidsHealth website and the National Association for Education of Young Children, it's important to graciously accept any suggestions or concerns your child's teacher expresses.

1. Cognitive Development

Even though clogging the bathroom drain with wet tissues left you wondering if your child had any reasoning ability whatsoever, his preschool teacher will likely discuss your little one's cognitive development and reasoning skills. Cognitive skills refer to your child's ability to process and apply information. For example, by age 4, he'll likely understand that the day is divided into morning, afternoon, and night, as well as the fact that there are different seasons, while by age 5, he might comprehend the concepts of counting and size relationships such as big versus small, according to HealthyChildren.org, a website of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

2. Play Style and Social Skills

Is your little one a busy social butterfly or is she more of a contemplative wallflower? Does she share well with her classmates and use her words to communicate effectively, or does she occasionally (or frequently) clonk her classmate on the head and make a mad-dash with her recovered toy? Her teacher will likely explain her style of play, how well she cooperates in a group and how she relates to her peers. If the teacher has concerns about her social development, she might bring these up as well.

3. Physical Development

Your child's recent ability to remove the outlet plugs is proof of his ever-growing motor skills and physical capabilities. Areas like coordination, balance and fine-motor skills, which require precise finger movements, all fall under the category of physical skills and development. If the teacher feels your child's motor skills or coordination need improving, she may suggest some home-based activities such as beading, fastening and unfastening large buttons, or working with modeling clay.

4. Language

While you might not think much about your kiddo's language skills because it's apparent that she's quite a talker, her preschool teacher can provide insight into her actual vocabulary and comprehension of words. Being able to follow multi-step directions, telling a story, describing a picture or setting and, depending on her age, identifying letters, are examples of developing language skills. Her teacher might note if she's particularly interested or skilled in activities related to reading, writing or storytelling. She might also bring up concerns about her speaking ability or level of understanding.

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