Tuesday, October 16, 2012

THREE PARENT / TEACHER CONFERENCE TIPS AND IDEAS

It seems like many of you are wrapping up your first marking period.

It also seems like many of you are being rewarded with a Fall Break. Consider me jealous.

And so I thought this would be a good time to share a few of my favorite tips and ideas for successful parent teacher conferences and spotlight two of the products I personally use when it comes to conferences and report cards.
Tip #1:

While you want to provide each family with ample time to discuss their child’s 
progress, there are many families who will want to take a very long time to meet with you. Plan ahead by providing a block of time that will allow you to discuss each student in detail, but will also provide you with a natural ending time.  This can be accomplished by scheduling your conferences immediately before school so that the meeting will need to end when students arrive or by scheduling back-to-back conferences.  I avoid the latter because some parents will keep talking even if they know others are waiting to come in and ultimately it causes a major back-up and is not fair to the others.  I personally like to schedule one per day and do so before school.  I feel that this not only creates a natural ending time, but also let’s me really focus on that one child and be thorough in my planning. 

Tip #2:

As the conference time approaches, send home a question sheet for the parents to fill out.  Ask what they view as their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Have them list areas of concern and specific questions they would like answered.  This will be so helpful in planning for the conference and creating a focused agenda to make the time as productive as possible.  It also serves as a reminder for them regarding the date and time.

Tip #3:
Consider putting together a slide show of pictures of the child in action. I created a quick 10-15 picture slideshow of each child to open the meeting. I didn’t always have a smartboard to display it on so I would simply open my laptop and play it on there. It really takes only minutes to put together, but is such an amazing way to start the meeting. It shows that you care about their child as an individual. 


{The products below are available "a la carte" or as part of a 5-product bundle for only $9.99 which includes a birthday packet, teacher plan book, grade book, report card comments and guide to parent conferences.}
{click to access and download:Parent Teacher Conferences-Tips and Printables}

  • 3 pages of tips and ideas for planning and executing a successful parent teacher conference
  • 1 conference invitation
  • 1 parent survey to send home before the conference
  • 1 blank parent survey for you to put your own questions on
  • 1 conference sign-up sheet
  • 2 conference agenda pages
  • 1 page for conference notes
  • 1 thank you note stationary
  • 1 welcome to parent teacher conferences sign


I created this document as part of my own teacher organizer binder and have found it to be quite useful when it comes time to write out report card comments. I also use it when writing feedback on student work and when sending notes home about a student's progress.  This packet includes over 130 comments applicable for elementary report cards organized by subject area.
{click to access and download: Report Card Comments}


Do You Have a Parent / Teacher Conference Tip or Idea to Share?

5 comments:

  1. We schedule conferences by building. Our school does two nights in November and two nights in February from 3:30-7:30. Very occasionally, if absolutely necessary, I will schedule a morning conference before school but most of the time, I get stood up for them.

    If I know that I have a conference with a family I need to spend more time with, I will purposely schedule an empty block behind them if I can so that we can take the time needed to discuss their child. Otherwise I make prior arrangements ahead of conferences to hold it during a planning period or on a different date so we can have adequate time to discuss everything.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, great tips you got that. Hopefully all the teachers and parents are able to read this great piece of guide to help them in everyway

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that you encouraged the pictures. I opened my blog for my kids' parents & showed them pictures & videos & that instead of searching for my blog- they could just like it via FB & stay connected. They were really impressed. They loved seeing what their little sweeties are up to. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love all of your conference ideas. I especially liked the slideshow idea with some picture ready to go of their child working in the classroom - that's something I'll add to my conferences next year. Thanks for sharing!

    Jordan
    Team V's First Grade Fun

    ReplyDelete

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