Here are some other useful tips to make the most of your parent-teacher conference:
If possible, don't wait until the last minute to plan the agenda for your meeting. Start preparing well in advance by keeping up with what your child is doing in his classes, the books she's reading, what friends he talks about, and what subjects seem most challenging.
Don't be late, because your child's teacher has probably scheduled parent meetings back to back. Show respect by arriving promptly and not wasting time on chit-chat.
Leave your own school experience at the door. You may have been a straight-A student or you may have landed in the principal's office every week. But it's not about your school days; the goal of the parent-teacher conference is to understand your child's unique strengths and weaknesses.
Ask about goals and expectations rather than focusing on specific assignments and test scores. If your child is struggling in a particular subject, ask the teacher for specific suggestions on how to help. Take home samples of work your child will be doing or various curriculum materials. These can be helpful later in the year.
Leave with an action plan and the teacher's contact information. The website Volunteerspot.com is a social networking site for parents and teachers where you can schedule conferences. Also ask the teacher if is she is willing to receive emails and respond on her own time. And if you can't make it into a conference or meeting in person, don't forget new tech tools like Skype, which can help you "meet" face to face.
And don't forget to keep in touch even if everything is going great. It's always nice to compliment a teacher if you hear good things or a child talks about an interesting assignment or class. Teachers appreciate a gold star too!