If you dread parent-teacher conferences know that you are not alone. Many teachers find conferences to be incredibly intimidating or create unnecessary anxiety. You may be thinking to yourself do I have the right documentation? What data should I share? How should I start off the conversation? Will the parent get upset with me if I say the wrong thing? I know when I was teaching many of those questions would frequently run through my mind. However, I am here to tell you parent conferences don't have to be scary! I decided to create my own parent-teacher conference forms to make things run much smoother and to take away any anxiety you may have. I also want to share with you my top 3 tips for having a successful parent-teacher conference.
Helpful Tips When Conducting Parent-Conferences
Tip 1: Be Prepared
Parent-teacher Conferences are definitely the time to share information with parents and also work on solving any challenges the student is facing as a team. Remember that you want to communicate any issues the child may be facing academically, socially, or behaviorally during conference time. When I was teaching I always found that the more organized I was the easier the conference went. I also found that taking notes about each child was extremely beneficial and helped me remember exactly what I wanted to say as well as identify the student's strengths or any areas that were a challenge.
Tip 2: Actively Listen
When I conducted my conferences I wanted the parents to get an opportunity to participate in the conversation. I always liked to ask questions such as what is a goal you have for your child? Does your child like school why or why not? Do you have any concerns? When I was conducting my conferences I always tried to leave some time in the end so the parents had an opportunity to ask questions and this also gave me a chance to learn more about my students.
Tip 3: Discuss Progress and Growth
This is a great time to share with parents their child's ability or grade level in different content areas. You can review student work samples or test results when discussing how the child is doing. Also, when I was in the classroom I tried to keep in mind that not all parents may understand the standards-based report card. Parents were more interested in knowing what level their child was on and where they needed to be by the end of the school year. I utilized the data forms that I created which made it much easier to communicate with parents.
Need More Help?
After spending many years in the classroom I have learned a lot in regards to parent-teacher conferences. If you are in need of more information start here to review one of my past blogs that is related to this particular topic. I know that you will do amazing when you have your next parent-teacher conference! Comment below and let me know how it went!