Parent/Teacher Conferences

September 17, 2010 at 6:36 PM 2 comments

by: Jennifer Perez

In Hillsborough County, Florida -the children have now been in school for four weeks.  My…how the time does fly!  Knowing this, do you think it’s a little too soon for me to begin having Parent/Teacher conferences? (Really, tell me what you think!)  I actually held my first Parent/Teacher conference this week and…it went well!  I have never been the teacher to wait for Conference Night to roll around before conferencing with my parents.  I have been with my kiddos for four weeks, have had an opportunity to get to know them and can already see some of their strengths and weaknesses.  It is my job to work with my student’s parents, as a team, to make sure our kiddos continue to work toward expected benchmarks.  I don’t need to wait another four weeks to tell my parents how they can help their child at home….I start NOW!

Where do I start?

Most schools should have an approved Conference Request form.  I suggest :

  1. Sending this form out at least one week prior to the scheduled Conference date.  This way, the parent/guardian has some time to plan in advance to attend the Conference.
  2. Allowing your self a minimum of 30 minutes for each Conference.  I learned this the hard way my 1st year.  Not knowing any better, I scheduled a few Conferences after school one day, assuming that they would only take 15 minutes a piece.  (Boy, was I wrong!)  What I failed to account for was the fact the parents would have something they wanted to discuss and/or ask.  How silly of me to think I would be the only one talking for 15 minutes.  (Growing pains!  Please learn from my mistake.)

What to discuss at the Conference?!

Knowing what to discuss at a Parent/Teacher Conference was a learning experience for me as well.  After about a dozen conferences my 1st year of teaching, what I learned has helped me tremendously in my career.

Learned Lesson:  Each Conference will be different because EACH child is different!

A few topics to consider discussing are:

  1. Content area progression such as – Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies, Writing, etc…
  2. Upcoming projects
  3. Tutoring availability
  4. Any upcoming classroom tests as well as Standardized Tests
  5. Classroom Behavior
  6. Extra Credit opportunities

And my favorite….

7.Discuss some positives about each child.

Trust me on this…parents really do appreciate it when they hear great things about their child.  Don’t let the conference be a ‘you need to do this or you need to do that’ session.  After all, we are talking about children and they do need their praise to build their self-confidence! I like to start my conferences with something like, “J.J. is really an eager learner and is always ready for a challenge.” Or J.J. has such a positive attitude which has a direct effect on his learning!”

And now that I have Conferenced…..?

I highly recommend keeping some sort of record of what was discussed during the conference.  You never know when you made need those notes to turn back to.  I would also recommend at least one more Conference at some point during the school year to follow up on any other issues that need to be addressed.  If you can Conference at once per 9 weeks, that would be ideal!!

Happy Conferencing!

© Jennifer Perez 9/16/10

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Entry filed under: Teacher Tips. Tags: , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stacey Kannenberg  |  September 19, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    If only all teachers cared as much as YOU!!! Education works when you work as a team. SO if a child continues to perform below standard — alert the parents NOW!!!

    Reply
    • 2. imtjen  |  September 21, 2010 at 9:40 PM

      I agree, working as a team works the best!

      Reply

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