Parent Conference Tips

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Happy Hump Day friends!  I'm headed to North Carolina tomorrow.  So my work week is already over.   Welcome to my latest edition of : 

I knew this trip was coming up so I spread out my parent conferences over 2 weeks to get them all in...all 28 of them.

{ that's A LOT I know } I haven't had that many since 1995.
Anywho ~ I wanted to share some tried and true practices that have worked over the years with parent conferences.

First ~ Make an agenda and lay it out for them to see and follow it: 

I just typed this one up real quick but honestly I just used one I hand wrote this past week. 
You are in control of this conference not the parents.  If you don't have an agenda it can derail or go off topic quickly and then you are seeing a parent in the hallway waiting for your next slot and you haven't even gotten far with your current conference.  Raise your hand if you've done that before?!?  #rookiemistake
So this agenda helps a TON and gets you finished and ready for your next conference.

Next I use a self reflection worksheet for my third graders - you could even do this with the younger kids with step by step guidance and happy faces, etc.  The parents always get a kick out of this sheet - it's funny to see how the kids grade themselves.
I can't find the source of the one I used...but Good Enough Teacher has one in her store that's free and great for the younger grades.

I created a teacher reflection sheet that includes the child's strengths and weaknesses and grades that is helpful too.  You can grab it 
{ here } if you are interested. 

** Always start with the child's's puts the parents NOT on the defensive so they are more open to hear your input on their areas of improvement.

** Be very clear on your concerns and areas you'd like to see them improve with concrete examples.  That way they can't say to another year's teacher - "I've never heard that about my child... "

** Show them where their child needs to be at the end of the year so it puts things into perspective if their child is behind, it can be a very eye opening tool for them.

** Always have work samples ~ especially writing to show specifically what they are doing well and what they can be working on.

** If you need to ~ bring up the fact that you might need to call an SST or RTI and explain to them what that means.  Make sure you are clear that you want the best for their child and this is one step you can do to make them more successful.

Believe it or not we used to schedule Sibling Matches so the parents would have their conferences back to back for different grade leveled kids.  This is the first time we decided not to do was a lot of work meeting with all of your sibling match teachers and making schedules work so - - - this year we had them sign up through Sign up Genius.  If they didn't get a match up that was on them.  It really didn't take much work on my end to set it up.  
There's many more ideas but I'm packing my suitcase so that's all for today.  Maybe I'll do a parent conference part 2 someday.  Happy Teaching Friends! xo,

1 comment

  1. Great tips Vicki, being VERY CLEAR on concerns is so important, even when it is hard to do!