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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Parent-Teacher Conferences




Parent-Teacher conferences are a time to celebrate the growth of a child with their parents.  It is the perfect opportunity to build trust and provide a little parent education.  I have some tips to maximize your conferences!

1.  Set your time and stick with it.  Let your families know that their conference will be 15 minutes, or whatever length you choose, and do your best to keep the conference to that length.  This way you won’t get behind if you schedule them back-to-back. 

2.  Sit next to the parents.  Rather than sitting with a table between you and the parents, sit on the same side as the table as them.  This is more open and friendly.
 
3.  Be prepared!  If your school wants you to provide a progress report, a written narrative, or student work, have that ready to go.

4. Think about walking the parents around the areas of the classroom to give them a visual overview of what the child is working on, briefly explaining the purpose of a few of the materials.

5.  Always share the child’s celebrations first!  If you are having an issue with a child, a conference should never be the first time a parent hears about it.  (Open communication throughout the start of the school year and when an issue arise is when to begin those discussions)  By starting with the child’s strengths, you are setting a positive tone for the meeting.  Address the child’s challenges at the end.

6.  If you are helping a child through some struggles/challenges, please offer the parents some suggestions on how they can support the child in the home.  Emphasize the parent-teacher team!

These steps will have you off to a great conference start!