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Parent Teacher Conferences

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Preparing for and managing parent teacher conferences
Parent Conferences
Posted by:superteach113 #110797

A coworker years ago gave me some advice for conferences. Always begin the conference with something positive about the child and ease into the things that are concerns, always be honest without being negative, and if you see the conference going into a direction you feel you can't handle, stop it and call in someone in adminstration to help.

This advice has helped me through all my years teaching.

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Parent Conference Agenda
Posted by:GB #110799

You probably have about 15 minutes, so sort of plan it out. Have the student's file ready when the parents arrive.

Start out with a positive snippet about the child.

Go through language arts and their child's progress. Explain some things you do in the classroom, with examples of their child's work. Briefly hit on some things coming up within the next quarter.

Do the same with mathematics, showing test copies and reiterating important concepts their child needs to have mastered and what will be introduced/reviewed the rest of the year.

I keep a notebook in my lap open to their child's name. It has notes of things I want to be sure that I discuss during the meeting, including discipline issues if any. I keep it in my lap as to not let the parent sit there and read it while I talk....

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Parent Conference
Posted by:Mrs. A #54116

Remember that how a parent feels will directly affect the child. Parents will feels secure and work with a teacher when they feel confident that the teacher likes their child AND has a plan to help the child. Similarly, when a teacher is only negative, the parents feel anxious and stressed. Who suffers? The child.
As a teacher, it is your job to remain positive: have a plan. Right now, your plan is to (1) call in the experts (special ed), who will evaluate this child and work with you to help her; (2) communicate this plan to the parent in a positive, non-accusatory way and to enlist her help.
Also, with a child this far behind, and with possible attention challenges, even simple homework can seem totally overwhelming. Encourage the mom to play very easy math games for not more than five minutes...

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Conference Scheduling
Posted by:Sue W #44924

We have 3 sections of grades K-5 with conferences twice each year. About 3 weeks before conferences information and a sign up form are sent home with the oldest child in each family, informing the parents of the dates and times. We try to have appropriate language forms available for non-English speaking homes. We usually have two afternoon/ evening sessions(usually after a full day of teaching) and one morning/afternoon session. Parents are asked to choose all general time slots they could attend; 8-12 am, 12-3pm, 3-6pm or 6-8pm. The actual conferences are 15 minutes in length with 5 minutes between. The form also asks them to write the name and class of any siblings and if they want to see any specialists, such as physical education, music, etc. Then we have a scheduling session of all teachers and specialists. Each of us has returned family time...

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Parent teacher conferences
Posted by:Nicole #69695

I work from the report card and I use the saved work as support for the grade, whether it be for the positive or the negative. This is great, especially if you have a doubtful parent. Also, I make a notecard with 2 strengths and 2 skills that need to be worked on. Also, prior to conferences, I ask the children for 2 academic goals, 1 personal goal and 1 lifeskill goal. Show this at the end of the conference and have the parent list a goal for their child and how they are going to help he/she complete that goal. The parents think it's neat, and the kids really like to see what their parent has to say....GOOD LUCK!

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Conference Form
Posted by:M. #110804

Ahead of time, I always send home an evaluation/conference form of some sort. Parents fill one out and so do the students. I look through them and write some notes for myself as well. That way, at conferences, I know exactly what the parents want to cover and what I would like to cover.


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Parent Perspective
Posted by:pjm #63525

My whole perspective on parent teacher conferences changed the day I went to my son's conference in MARCH and the teacher began the conference by saying well now that I finally like Zack! I never heard another word past that. I kept thinking 'now that you finally like Zack???? now? in March?' What was going on before now? I always think of that when I prepare my conferences and vow that I will never say anything so hurtful to my parents.

I don't suppose that's much advice but here- think like a parent. What would you like to hear and not hear about your own child and then do or don't say it! If you have to say a negative think about how it will sound and try to find a kind way to say your child is a jerk.

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parent conference journal entry
Posted by:mrsp #55479

At my parent teacher conferences I leave my students morning journals out and a basket of pencils. They can read through the jounal and then leave a message for their child to read the next day. If they ae not done with the journal and it is their turn to speak with me, they generally come in for conference and then when we are finished they return to complete the journal. I love having the journals out there in the hall, it keeps the parent busy and the wait time doesn't seem as long.

At the second conference I will put writings and art work in the hall. The parents still have a little note to fill out to make sure that they see the child's work and to leave them a note the for the next day. Of course the only problem with this is with the parents...

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First Question
Posted by:AmyK #110800

I always start my parent teacher conferences with "Since we only have 10 min, is there anything you wanted to be sure we address?"

This covers two birds with one stone: parent feels like their needs are being heard; and secondly, you stay in control of the conference....they probably aren't ready to "jump right in" and will wait for you to get at whatever it is they are fearful of. Works for me!

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