not need further time with the teacher, you’ll just await the next report card. But, there may be significant problem areas. Your child may be unhappy in school or frustrated by one of the subject areas. The teacher may indicate he is behind in reading or she is struggling with math. There isn’t time in that fifteen or twenty minutes to design a plan to address the problems. And your child’s success is worth the time it takes to make a workable plan and then follow through toward a clear goal. So go ahead and schedule another conference in the near future. Set a time when the teacher can meet only with you to begin a separate goal-setting, problem-solving session. Scheduling another conference gives the teacher time to gather further information and ensures that you’ll be given an open-ended time slot rather than having to rush through information to make way for the next set of nervous parents. 16 | S T . J O H N S parent MAGAZINE It’s vital that you understand the best way to approach these conference times is as members of the same team. Nothing is gained by confrontational conversations. It’s tempting to want to place blame for poor behavior or poor performance on other people or circumstances, but the best result for your child will happen when everyone works together to make a solid plan. While you await the next conference session, write down your questions and concerns. Document what you see at home in relation to homework assignments, grades on specific assignments, your child’s attitudes and complaints—anything that will help clarify the issues at that next meeting. Your second conference, set up to address specific problems or issues, might include some of the support staff at your school. There may be specialists in reading or math, school social workers, speech therapists or specialist teachers in music or art. These support persons may have additional information and perspectives that will bring new light to your child’s needs.