I had my first round of parent teacher conferences Thursday and want to share my insight and preparation.
CONFERENCE SIGN UP
My school uses Sign Up Genius and I highly recommend it. Parents are responsible for signing up and finding a time that works best for them. This takes the pressure off teachers trying to coordinate siblings, etc.
BEFORE THE CONFERENCE
1 week prior to conferences I send home a feedback form for parents to fill out. I don't have a picture, but here are the questions included on the form:
1. What does your child enjoy about school?
2. What area would you like for me to gather more information on?
3. What are you most proud of your child achieving this year?
4. Is there anything else you would like me to know?
A parent e-mailed me saying how much she appreciated me sending this form home because she knew I valued her feedback and as a parent it helped her decide what she wanted to discuss. Yay!
This is what I use to prepare my talking points during the conference.
TOP LEFT: Academic Strengths
TOP RIGHT: Areas to work on
BOTTOM: Work Habits and Behavior
Thank you Jessica from The Teacher Talk for this freebie
These handouts guide my thinking on the work habits and behavior section of my conference form.
I also have students reflect on their work habits in the classroom. I use a 1-4 scale because it aligns with report cards, which makes it easier for parents to make a comparison. Students were very honest!
*Each conference is 15 minutes.
*On the classroom door I have a sign that says please knock at your conference time.
*I set a timer so I stay on track. My reasoning is that if I go over even a few minutes on multiple conferences, that is almost a whole conference slot used.
This is what my table looked like during conferences.
Each child has a file folder with their name on it. File folders are organized in the order of student's conference time. This is where I put all student work samples, which parents take home.
A closer look….
I gave parents 2 handouts to take home to help their child with reading.
LEFT: focus on comprehension
RIGHT: questions to ask before/during/after reading
Thank you for reading this long post!! I hope it helped!