It’s getting to be that time when parents are knocking on your door wondering how their child is managing this school year. I love conference time because you get the parent(s) involved in their child’s education at a deeper level.
To make your conferences as simple as possible, try the following:
1. Be prepared with the student’s information. Here is a Conference Form that I find is handy with not only organization but it keeps the meeting on track:ParentTeacher Conference Form
2. Sandwich in the parts that might sting with compliments and student strengths. Start with a cute story or particular strength the student portrays regularly, then get into the meat (sometimes it isn’t what a parent wants to hear), and end on a positive note.
3. Make a plan with the parent on what’s going to happen at home (i.e. work on sight words for 5 minutes 4 nights a week).
4. Provide resources and websites to make it as easy as possible for the parent to help the child.
5. Keep an open door policy and make yourself accessible. It will only make your job easier with the child if the parent is supporting what you do. A great idea is to print out business cards with your information and attach it to a magnet for the fridge.
6. Try to keep calm and be kind (this can be tricky at times). One professor I had always said, “They’re sending the best they got…they aren’t keeping the good ones home.”