Parent/teacher conferences build an environment of trust and confidently demonstrate to parents you value their child’s unique strengths & contribution to the classroom. Make the most of your parent – teacher conferences with these tips.
- Take time during the weeks leading up to your conferences to prep notes, discussion points, and gather representative examples of each student’s work.
- Send an email or note home the week before conferences begin inviting parents to share their specific thoughts, concerns and questions to cover during the conference.
- Schedule class parents for conference slots with free online signup sheets! More info here
- Offer virtual ways to ‘attend’ if parents cannot make it into the classroom, i.e. via Skype, Facetime or Google Hangout.
- Find creative ways to support student learning outside of the classroom which you can share with parents(books, websites and apps, special programs, etc.).
- Start and end on time, respecting your own and your class parents’ busy schedules. Begin with quick agenda items at the start of the conference so parents are aware of what you will cover together. Keep a count-down timer handy with a gentle alert 5 minutes prior to the conference end time.
Stay Positive & Collaborate Conversation:
- Share several specific examples of the students’ strengths and acheivement on assignments as well as positive social interactions with peers and adults.
- Choose a couple real opportunities for improvement tied to skills and standards appropriate for your grade. Listen actively for feedback, and together with parents, draw steps for reaching new goals.
- Don’t be afraid to ask if there is anything you should know that would help you serve their child better, such as particular study habits, homework help, or other special needs?
- Invite parent participation – what special talents, hobbies or family traditions might they be interested in sharing with your class? Maybe there is a parent who is an artist, gardener, computer specialist, or from a foreign country your class will be studying.
End with Confidence:
- Genuinely thank parents for taking the time to meet with you and reinforce that you will work with them and their student to ensure a successful year for all!