It’s that time of year again when many teachers are gearing up for their second round of parent/teacher conferences. I remember it being a bit of a stressful time because there were mid-year assessments that need to be completed, report cards gearing up to be sent out at the end of the quarter, and scheduling and preparing for these conferences.
Here are some tips (and even a download) to help you get prepared for these meetings!
1. Be organized. Organization is key to having a successful and meaningful discussion with parents about their child. Have a way to keep track of your scheduling of conferences, stay connected with parents by sending reminder slips, and of course have documentation ready.
Tip: After your conference always send a ‘thank you’ email. Parents love the connection and the thoughtfulness that goes into taking that moment to thank them for their time in meeting with you about their child.
2. Keep it short and sweet. Discussion about their child’s academics and behavior can quickly become diluted with everyday conversation or be directed elsewhere. Be respectful of your time and the time of the parents coming to school by keeping the conversation on point. I like to keep my conferences between 15-20 minutes each.
3. Have other specialists sit in on your conference. If you’re dealing with a difficult parent or are meeting to discuss a child that meets with other teachers throughout their day, suggest to have them sit in on the meeting. This way communication is open between the school and parents and everyone is clued in to what is being talked about.
Tip: I’ve had my assistant principal sit in on a meeting before with two divorced parents that tended to not get along so well with each other. This helped keep the discussion moving and gave me peace of mind that I wasn’t going to get stuck in an awkward situation.
Here’s a download that has helped me in the past in getting organized and prepared to meet with parents. I hope you find it just as helpful!
Keep organized by having all of your child’s info right there in one place. Being prepared with scores and notes about behaviors or benchmarks is super helpful when relaying that info to parents. This download includes forms for 1-4 quarters.
This is super helpful in keeping track of all of those conferences! Mark the date, to whom you met with, and the nature of the meeting. This keeps a nice paper trail of when you met and can be used with your administration.
My favorite way to keep in touch with parents are these reminder forms. Send these home a week out from beginning conferences and your sure to stay organized and keep parents on track.
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