Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences provide families the chance to have a focused conversation on their student's social and academic growth. Most teachers spend time preparing to go over assessments and goals for the students. Parents want to learn valuable valuable information their kids. At the same time, it is a wonderful way for teachers to learn important information about their students. It is a wonderful way for parents to see samples of work, learn about classroom activities, and discuss assignments. How can you make the most of parent-teacher conferences? Here are some simple steps that will help you conduct a successful conference.
Watch the clock - Stay on schedule. There is nothing more irritating than waiting for a scheduled appointment. You might be meeting with ten families, and just like at the doctor's office once you start running behind it is difficult to catch up. If must reschedule a conference to stay on schedule, do it.
Be prepared - While you can share a lot of great ideas during a casual talk when you come prepared to discuss specific goals and milestones, then you can learn many new things. For parent-teacher conferences, I always create a brief outline for each session. I write detailed notes before the meeting. For each student, I make comments on strengths and areas of growth, document assessment scores, and things to work on at home.
Include the student -The conference is all about the student, so include them when it is appropriate. After all, the conference is focused on their learning needs. There may be times that the students need to step aside so I can speak privately with the parents, but the majority of the time the students can participate in the discussions.
Have visuals - Have student work ready to share. Maybe show student samples and benchmark papers so families know what the expectations. Save some special projects and have the students share what they have been doing.
Leave time for questions - Allow parents and students time to ask questions. Parents may have questions about assessments, routines, homework and even behavioral issues. As a teacher, take time to listen. You may have the answers right then, or you may have to let the families know that you will get back to them.
Parent-teacher conferences are a great time to connect and establish meaningful relationships with students and their families. Enjoy!
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