What You Should Know About Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent teacher conferences are an opportunity for you to share information with your students’ parents and caregivers about their academic progress, social growth, and learning goals.

You can also use them to discuss any special needs your students have that require documentation and accommodations.

Make sure you’re prepared for these meetings so that you can get the most out of them.

Plan Ahead

Parent teacher conferences are a great opportunity to connect with parents and provide them with a chance to ask questions about their child’s progress in school. The meetings should be a positive experience for all parties involved.

Some teachers find it helpful to prepare an outline or agenda for their conferences and share it with parents before they meet. This way, parents know what to expect and will be able to focus on the conversation without distractions.

The meetings are usually brief (ranging from 10-30 minutes) and should be kept on schedule. If you need to discuss more than the allotted time, give parents a heads up so they can schedule another conference or contact you for a more in-depth discussion of the issue.

Be Prepared

Parent-teacher conferences are a crucial way for teachers and parents to discuss students’ progress. They’re also an opportunity for both parties to learn about each other’s goals for their children and how their learning is supported at home.

If you know ahead of time that you will be discussing issues with parents, prepare an outline or agenda. This will help you stay focused and avoid a lot of back-and-forth conversation.

Likewise, it’s important to have evidence of your grading system and rubric available to parents at the conference. This shows them that you care about their child’s progress and you want them to feel confident with your decisions.

In addition to academic progress, consider topics such as social development, behavioral concerns, classroom management and the impact of disabilities or family challenges on learning. Make sure your meeting includes the people who support your students’ education, including administrators.

Be Flexible

During parent teacher conferences, teachers and parents have one-on-one conversations that allow them to communicate student progress, assess strengths, address needs, and offer advice.

A successful conference requires flexibility in time, format, and place. This can include scheduling conferences outside of school hours, meeting in different locations, and using technology like video conferencing or FaceTime to connect parents with teachers.

Regardless of the format, it is essential that both parents and teachers show consideration and efficiency from the start. This is especially true when the meetings are first set up, and will minimize unnecessary follow-ups and missed appointments.

Be Honest

Parent teacher conferences are a time when teachers get to be honest with parents about their students’ academic performance. Unfortunately, there are times when this may mean that teachers have to deliver bad news.

Despite this, it’s important to have an open dialogue with parents during parent teacher conferences. This is especially true if a child has been acting out in class.

Often, teachers are not sure how to go about telling parents of their children’s behavioral issues. The truth is that sometimes it just takes a little bit of patience and understanding on both parts to make the situation better for everyone involved.

Be Respectful

Parent teacher conferences are an opportunity for teachers to connect with parents about their students’ academic progress. But they also require the cooperation of both parties.

For the best results, be respectful for your students and their families. That means being clear about how you assess student learning and being tactful with parents who disagree or are defensive when discussing the progress of their child.

Make sure to take time at the conference to discuss things like social and motivational factors that affect learning. This will help you understand your student as a whole and build a strong relationship with them.

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