Teachers, are you wondering how to make your parent-teacher conferences a success? Here are some helpful tips and a free conference planning printable to assist you with your conferences this year.
These tips and printable come from retired teacher Nancy.
Here are a few things to think about for conferences that I did as much for me as for the parents.
*I would have the classroom staged for a regular day of learning, objectives up, schedules, examples of work, spelling/vocabulary lists, etc. so the parents have a better idea of what their child’s day looks like. You want parents to see the richness of the learning environment. Textbooks can be set in the hall so those parents waiting have an opportunity to look at them. (Make sure you have “big-people” chairs available!)
*I would work from an uncluttered table or group of desks and sit on the same side as the parents – no table or desk separating us.
*I would have a small bouquet of flowers or a scented candle on it. Can you light a candle in the schools anymore?
*I would have a small bowl of treats available, pumpkin jelly beans, apple slices, banana bread, or something similar this time of year.
*I would have soft (elevator?) music playing in the background.
*I would seldom have all of the brightest lights on.
In other words, I would set the stage for a relaxed, enjoyable time of sharing with the parents.
Here is a free printable to help organize your conferences.
Rationale for Conference Notes
- Parents appreciate the obvious time and effort you spent focusing on their child
- You come across as being very prepared, very professional
- Allows you to look at the whole child instead of just the academic grades
- Allows you to be in charge of the conference instead of the report card
- Allows you to prioritize your message to the parents in the time allotted for each conference
- Gives you a format for taking notes during the conference
- Gives you a format for noting those things you told the attendees you would follow through with
- Easy to hang on to these from conference to conference – I would save them for a year so that I would have information to share with next year’s teacher if necessary
Do you have any other conference tips that could help other teachers? I would like to hear them. Please comment below to share your ideas with other teachers.