Be prepared. Honor your child’s education by preparing before the conference and writing down a few notes. Ask your child if there is anything he wants you to bring up with the teacher, and think about any questions or concerns you have for the teacher when it comes to your child’s progress and behavior in the classroom. Not only will you engage in a deeper conversation with the teacher, but you won’t leave feeling like you forgot to touch on something.

Be on time. Conference windows are generally pretty tight with parents scheduled every 20 to 30 minutes. Respect your time and the teacher’s by setting reminders and making sure you are prompt for your conference. Be willing to schedule a followup meeting to discuss improvement strategies you may implement. Bonus tip: If you absolutely can’t make it face-to-face, ask your teacher about a technical option, like conferencing over Skype or Facetime.

Ask for examples. When talking about your child’s performance, ask the teacher for specific examples of what your child does well and what she could work on. Most teachers will be prepared with work samples to guide your conversation. Also ask teachers how your child gets along with other children and adults at school.

Embrace feedback. Be prepared to hear both positive feedback and feedback for improvement. If the teacher identifies specific skills your child can work on, ask for suggestions and recommendations to help close gaps. Are there creative ways to encourage your child’s reading? Can he follow a more effective homework system? What educational apps and games will help reinforce classroom learning?

Participate. Parent involvement is a key indicator of student success. Don’t be shy about exploring opportunities for volunteering at school and helping in the classroom if time allows. If your busy schedule keeps you from participating as much as you’d like, ask the teacher if you can contribute or volunteer from home.

Offer thanks. Sincerely thank the teacher for her time and hard work with your child, and keep the door open for future communication