8 Common Questions Parents Ask Teachers

And Some Advice on How to Answer Them

Parents and child meeting with teacher

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If you really want to make a great impression on the parents, then you must be ready to answer any question they might have for you. Here are 8 of the most common questions teachers receive from parents as well as some advice on how to answer them.

1. How Do I Help My Child With Technology When I Don't Know Anything About It?

Many parents are far behind when it comes to staying up-to-date with the latest tech tools. Often, the child is the most tech-savvy member of the household. So, when a parent doesn't know how to help their child with their tech, they might come to you for advice. 

What to Say - Tell parents to ask the same questions they would if they weren't using technology for their homework. Questions like "What are you learning?" and "What are you trying to accomplish?"

2. How Can My Child Be Successful in School?

Parents want to know what can they do at home to help their child be successful in school. They might ask for details on how you grade and if there is anything that they can do to make sure their child receives an A. 

What to Say - Be truthful, show them how you grade, and share your expectations for your students. Remind them it's not all about the grades, but how the child is learning.

3. Is My Child Behaving in School?

If a parent asks you this question, you can probably assume that the child has behavioral issues at home as well. These parents often want to know if their child's behavior at home is transferring to their behavior in school. And, though there are instances of children acting out at home and presenting the opposite behavior in school, misbehaved children often act out in both spaces. 

What to Say - Tell them how you see it. If they are indeed acting out, then you need to come up with a behavior plan with the parent and the student. There may be something going on at home (divorce, sick relative, etc.) Do not pry, but you can prompt the parent to see if they will tell you. If they are not acting out in school, reassure the parent and tell them they needn't worry. 

4. Why Do You Give so Much/so Little Homework

Parents will have strong opinions on homework volume no matter how much you give. Be receptive to their feedback, but remember that you are the teacher and it is ultimately up to you to decide what is best for your students and your classroom.

What to Say - If a parent asks why you give so much homework, explain to them what their child is working on in school, and why it's important to have them reinforce it at night. If a parent asks why their child never gets homework, then explain to them that you don't feel it's necessary to bring work home when they could be spending time with their family.

5. What Is the Purpose of the Assignment?

This parent question usually arises after a long night of sitting with their frustrated child. You have to remember that the way they pose the question (which is usually out of frustration) may come off as aggressive. Be patient with this parent; they have probably had a long night. 

What to Say - Tell them that you are sorry that they may have a hard time and that you are always available via text or email to answer any questions. Make sure to communicate to them the specific purpose of the assignment and reassure them that next time they have an issue that you are always there to answer their questions.

6. We Are Going on Vacation, Can I Have All of My Child's Homework?

Vacations during school time can be hard because a child misses out on a lot of classroom time. It also means that you have to take the extra time to prep all of your lesson plans far ahead of time. Make sure to communicate your policy for vacation homework in the very beginning of the school year and ask that they give you at least one week's notice.

What to Say - Provide the parent with what you can and let them know that their child will likely have other things to make up when they get back.

7. Does My Child Have Friends?

The parent just wants to make sure that their child is having a good experience in school and isn't being bullied or excluded. 

What to Say - Tell them that you will observe their child and get back to them. Then, make sure that you do that. This will give the chance for you to pinpoint the time of day the child is having difficulty (if any). Then, the parent (and you) can talk to the child and come up with some solutions if need be.

8. Is My Child Turing in Their Homework on Time?

Usually, this question comes from parents of 4th and 5th graders because this is the time when students gain more personal responsibility, which can take some adjustment. 

What to Say - Offer the parent some insight into what their child is handing in and what they are not. Communicate your rules and expectations are for the student. Talk with the parent about things that they can do at home to help the child maintain responsibility, as well as what they can do in school.


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Your Citation
Cox, Janelle. "8 Common Questions Parents Ask Teachers." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/common-questions-parents-ask-teachers-4114592. Cox, Janelle. (2023, April 5). 8 Common Questions Parents Ask Teachers. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/common-questions-parents-ask-teachers-4114592 Cox, Janelle. "8 Common Questions Parents Ask Teachers." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/common-questions-parents-ask-teachers-4114592 (accessed June 9, 2023).