Parent/Teacher Conference Preparation
October 10, 2008
- If possible, include the child in the conference. If you need to critique him or her on behaviors, performance or study habits, he or she is right there ready to help make a plan to correct. If all you have is praise, it's great for the child to hear you sing!
- Be prepared. Have some anecdotal notes, test results, work samples, and so forth to present and discuss in a concrete way, rather than vague references.
- Ask the parent to bring you up to speed on past school years' performance.
- Be positive and focused on plans to correct any problems you and the parents and/or student agree upon. Be as specific as you can if you have ideas for implementing help. This may include specific plans about how you and the parent will keep in touch in the ensuing weeks. In short, what can the parent expect you to do to report progress on any new tactics? Be wary of overburdening yourself with constant written reports or phone calls. Don’t forget you have other students, too!
- Recruit the parent by impressing on him or her that you are a team. This may include suggesting that he take certain responsibilities in helping his student, too, such as monitoring, checking over work, or even signing daily or weekly reports from you.
- Reflect on the child, not on defending yourself or your policies. Center on how he can best mesh with classroom rules and procedures that are in place.
- Be sure the parent knows what to expect as far as progress reports from you throughout the year
- Give contact information to the parent if he or she has concerns.
- Start and end with something positive about the child, even if you have to dig to think of things.