Hey teacher friends!! It's that time of year and I'm here to share my top 5 tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences! Whether you hold traditional conferences with parents or prefer student-led conferences, I hope this post provides some insight as you plan!
1. Check In with Your Students
It's conference season! It can be stressful and intimidating for some teachers, but let's not forget why we are all here... the students! The most important part of prepping for conferences, in my opinion, is checking in with your students! Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of teaching all the things, we forget to check in.
Before conferences, I like to meet briefly with my students to discuss how they are feeling and what they are thinking in regards to their learning environment and progress. Self assessment forms are helpful to start the discussion (and bonus, they can be used during the actual conferences too!) Best of all, students are well informed of where they stand and are not playing the guessing game when parents inquire at home.
2. Get Yourself Organized and Prepared!
3. Keep Student Data Handy
I like to have my student data binder in front of me at conference time in case parents have specific questions about reading levels or test scores. It may never be opened, but at least I'm prepared if parents have specific questions regarding any assessments, etc.
You can find my "DATA IS DUNN" editable data binder HERE or by clicking the photos above :)
4. Start on a POSITIVE note!
No matter the student you're meeting about, always start with something positive! Even if you're meeting about your toughest student, find something to start the conference off on the right foot. This helps ease both parties into the conference and helps prevent parents from feeling apprehensive.
I like to prepare a form in advance so I'm not trying to come up with something on the spot, such as my strengths/goals or glow/grow form (remember the one I used during student check-ins). Once the forms are completed, I make a copy for my record, that way I can send home the original with the parents after we have met.
Also, cookies help ;) In all seriousness, some parents have to swing by the school on their way home from work. A little treat makes for a welcoming addition to your conferences and lightens the mood with a touch of thoughtfulness.
5. Have Helpful Resources Ready
Whether it's a list of helpful websites or a folder with specific practice pages & activities, having resources handy and available is super helpful for parents. Many times, parents want to help their child at home but don't know where to start. Don't forget to ask your resource teachers if they have any suggestions! Our reading specialist had the most wonderful "helpful websites" list typed up and all I had to do was make copies!
You can find all my Parent-Teacher Conference Forms in my TpT store HERE or by clicking the picture below!
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Thanks for reading! I hope this list is helpful to you as you plan and prepare for parent-teacher conferences. What's something you do to make conferences successful in your classroom? Tell me in the comments below!
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