Parent-teacher conferences on the horizon? Preparation is the key to a successful season of parent-teacher conferences. Parent-teacher conferences are an important opportunity to collaborate with parents about how the child is doing and develop a plan for how you as teachers and parents will work collectively to see the child grow and succeed.
But let’s be honest, these meetings also include dealing with some difficult conversations and personalities. And before you even get the parents into your classroom, you have to tackle the challenge of actually setting the meetings up and making sure families are alerted and reminded just in time. What if we told you there was a way of setting up all your parent teacher conferences in just five minutes?
With our new parent-teacher conference functionality, all you need to do is post the time slots that you have available for your classroom and ClassTag will do the rest. We will send reminders to the parents who have signed up as their time slot approaches. Or when families haven’t signed up yet, they will be pinged by ClassTag and reminded to pick a time slot. ClassTag handles all the coordination and reminders so you have less to stress about.
But we know the buck doesn’t stop there. We compiled the top ten all-time best practices to guarantee that your parent teacher conferences will go smoothly. Check them out!
1. Communication is Key
It’s no surprise that Nicholas Provenzano begins his article with communication. Having more communication come from you, the less likely there will be miscommunication during the meeting.
2. Keep Data Handy
It always helps to visualize the current progress whether it be showing recent work or grades. Parents benefit greatly from having this material right in front of them throughout your discussion.
3. Balance the Conversation
Discussing a student should always be about balance. While you may have to highlight a current weakness, it is best to share a recent accomplishment. Give the good with the bad.
4. Invite the Student
The student is more apt to take ownership of his or her current work if he or she is actually present. Allowing the student to share in the discussion will give them a better understanding of what is expected of them.
5. Candy Always Helps
No explanation needed. 🙂
Being confident about what you have to share with parents is key. Determine what it is that you want to talk about and which questions are vital. Amanda Morin’s worksheet is an excellent guide for a confident conference convo.
7. Be Specific
If preparing an entire worksheet for every student sounds awfully daunting, then take an abbreviated approach and jot down the most important question for each student. This tactic of preparation should guarantee a focused conversation around a specific topic.
8. Time it Right
Respecting the time of the parents is an extremely important part of the night as well as making certain you stick to the schedule. Allow yourself a buffer time in between each family (which you could easily set up on ClassTag).
9. Find Alternatives
For parents that may not be able to make it to your parent teacher conferences but still express interest, offer times to chat over the phone or schedule a virtual hangout. You may add these slots to your ClassTag parent teacher conference schedule.
Some news that needs to be shared with parents during the conference might not be easy to hear. It’s worth remembering that parent is your ally on this educational journey and you are working together to ensure student fulfills their potential. If bringing up some difficult topics makes you stressed, read this post about handling difficult conversations.
BONUS! If you’re still stressed even after reading these all-time top tips, then head over to Thought Catalog for a chuckle about real world parent teacher conference experiences.
If you found this post useful, why not share it with other teachers in your community? Conferences really don’t have to be stressful!