Once September rolls around, it feels as though the school year has just begun but the reality is, it’s almost time for parent-teacher conferences.
Time flies when the kids are back in school.
Parents with children in school always have a few (wink, wink) questions lined up for their child’s teacher especially when you get that coveted moment to have a face-to-face sit down.
As parents with twins, well, you probably have just as many questions for the teachers. Your parent-teacher conferences may look a bit different than other parents. Whether you have split your twins into different classrooms or have chosen to keep them together, you will want to find a way to manage parent-teacher conferences so that you are focusing on your students and their individual needs.
As former teachers and twin moms, one of us with school-age twins, we thought we would weigh in on the subject of managing parent-teacher conferences as a twin parent.
Conquering Parent-Teacher Conferences As A Twin Parent:
Teachers are usually very accommodating, especially when it comes to parents who have multiple children. From our experience, teachers want to be able to discuss both of your children consecutively, it is the easiest way to schedule those conversations for everyone.
If your kids share the same teacher(s), schedule two separate conference times for each of your children back-to-back. Trying to lump the conversations for both of your children into one time slot really isn’t feasible or as productive as you’d want it to be.
Twin parents need enough time scheduled to discuss each child separately as an individual. If your twins have different teachers, schedule one child first and then communicate your schedule to the other teacher so that everyone can plan accordingly. As long as you talk to the teachers early, chances are you won’t have to attend conferences on multiple nights.
Since twin parents have special scheduling circumstances, don’t procrastinate. You want to be on the ball in getting your parent-teacher conferences scheduled so that you aren’t asking your children’s teachers to work some kind of scheduling magic at the last minute.
From A Teacher’s Perspective:
Although you have two children learning the same content at the same time, it doesn’t mean they will always be socially or academically aligned. Your twins are two totally different individuals that happen to share a birthday. Remember that when it comes to parent-teacher conferences, teachers are very aware of your twins’ individual needs and will do everything in their power to meet each child’s needs differently.
Teachers aren’t going to compare your twins. They have a classroom full of children to teach, each with their own specific learning styles and needs. They will determine what’s best for each of your children, careful to not lump them under the “twin” umbrella.
Listening to your children take ownership of their learning and proudly sharing their growth with you can be an incredibly powerful experience. Any time teachers offer to have students lead their own conferences, especially if your students share a teacher, allow your children to have some privacy by kindly asking one twin wait in the hall while the other one presents. Competition amongst siblings, especially twins, can complicate their experiences in school. It is helpful to allow your twins to have an open conversation about their own progress without their twin sibling chiming in.
From A Twin Parent’s Perspective:
Now that Jenn’s kids are in school, we are taking a look at parent-teacher conferences through a whole new lens! It’s fun to be on the flip side.
- Come to your parent-teacher conferences with a list of things you would like to discuss, outlined by each individual child. We all like to think that twin parents have some magical gift of being able to keep everything straight. Speaking from experience, that “gift” hasn’t proven to be so magical. WRITE IT DOWN so that you leave having discussed everything that was on your mind.
- Remember, these teachers are professionals and are GREAT at what they do. Ask really specific questions about your child. They will know how to tell you to support them at home and have the data to back it up. Your twins will learn differently, have their own strengths and areas of growth. Ask what makes each child successful in the classroom and what strategies you can implement at home.
- I (Jenn) have found it a little hard to keep track of who is reading and working on what from time to time. After spending years in education, getting really good at keeping track of individual data for a large number of kids, I now struggle with my own twins…go figure! Trust that your twins’ teachers know your students learning needs inside and out. As teachers, that is their gift. Our experience has been that the boys’ teachers can speak very explicitly about my children and their learning paths!
- Enjoy the conversation. Watching your children learn is a powerful experience, so take it all in and embrace everything about it. Every child will have things that come easily to them and things that they struggle with. That is a natural part of learning.
- Trust the professionals, but don’t hesitate to speak up either. The relationship between teachers and parents is a partnership. It is in everyone’s interest to keep the lines of communication open by having continual conversations about your child’s development.
No matter what route you take with schooling for your twins, remember this, your teachers will do their best to teach and guide your children into becoming the best that they can be. We are all on the same team after all! Remember, it takes a village.