Parent-Teacher Conferences - Best Practices

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Parent-Teacher conferences are coming soon for many teachers. We all know it can be a lot of work. Here are some web resources and best practices for teachers to consider.

 

Before the Conference

  • Help parents know what to expect at the conference. Be Descriptive - whether on paper or online. Let parents know what they should come prepared to discuss - any changes at home, should their student attend, and a reminder to be punctual. The most important part is how parents can be partners in their students learning.
  • Include some Online Resources for parents, here are a few we liked: Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences at Your Child's School and 20 Questions to Ask During a Parent-Teacher Conference
  • It is a good idea to have some work from each child in your class displayed in the classroom
  • Have a list handy of educational apps and community resources for the family
  • Plan on talking only about 25% of the time. Leave the rest open for Q&A and exchange of thoughts and ideas. Rehearse if needed. 
  • Remember that you want to engage parents so they can support their child's learning at home. Think about what they may need for that and what you would want parents to do. 

At the Conference: Resources and Best Practice for Teachers

  • Remember the parents want to leave feeling that you truly care for their child. Discuss the child's social and emotional behavior along with their academic progress.
  • Allow yourself a buffer between meetings so parents feel like they are not hurried through the conference. Even five minutes between can make a difference if a conference is running long.
  • Student-led conferences are a win-win for the teacher, student and the parent. In the student-led conference format, students and teachers prepare together, and then students lead the conference while teachers facilitate.   Parents tend to become more reflective about their children’s progress and understand how to help at home. The students also gain a better understanding of their strengths and challenges and the correlation between their effort, progress, and resulting quality of work. Student-Led Conferences - Scholastic
  • Teacher Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences - Quotes from K-12 teachers

In addition to all the planning for conferences, teachers are faced with the daunting task of scheduling time slots that work for each family. ParentSquare makes online conference sign-up easy to set-up, in less than five minutes...and the best part, no paper! Check out a Video from our recent webinar to see just how simple it is. We would love to help!