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Parent-Teacher Conference Strategies
Old 02-15-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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Hi friends, I was wondering if y'all could me with parent-teacher conference strategies?


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Parent Conferences
Old 02-15-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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A coworker years ago gave me some advice for conferences. Always begin the conference with something positive about the child and ease into the things that are concerns, always be honest without being negative, and if you see the conference going into a direction you feel you can't handle, stop it and call in someone in adminstration to help.

This advice has helped me through all my years teaching.
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Old 02-15-2006, 02:34 PM
 
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Thank you.
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Old 02-15-2006, 02:42 PM
 
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Hi! I had a fellow teacher once tell me that all the parents really want to know is that you love their child. Even though I'm not a parent myself, it made perfectly good sense to me. I've used that info to my benefit by making that clear, while at the same time saying the things I need to say. I think being positive, respectful, friendly and prepared are the best strategies. Be sure to give the parents time to speak, sometimes I forget to do that. Good luck!
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Old 02-15-2006, 02:54 PM
 
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You probably have about 15 minutes, so sort of plan it out. Have the student's file ready when the parents arrive.

I, too, start out with a positive snippet about the child.

Go through language arts and their child's progress. Explain some things you do in the classroom, with examples of their child's work. Briefly hit on some things coming up within the next quarter.
Do the same with mathematics, showing test copies and reiterating important concepts their child needs to have mastered and what will be introduced/reviewed the rest of the year.

I keep a notebook in my lap open to their child's name. It has notes of things I want to be sure that I discuss during the meeting, including discipline issues if any. I keep it in my lap as to not let the parent sit there and read it while I talk. It may have notations/documentations that I don't necessarily want them to see.

Intermittantly ask if they have questions and wrap up by asking if they have any final questions. Only ask this 2 or 3 times during the meeting.

Your 15 minutes are up!!


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Old 02-15-2006, 03:22 PM
 
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I always start my p/t conferences with "Since we only have 10 min, is there anything you wanted to be sure we address?"

This covers two birds with one stone: parent feels like their needs are being heard; and secondly, you stay in control of the conference....they probably aren't ready to "jump right in" and will wait for you to get at whatever it is they are fearful of.

Works for me!

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Old 02-15-2006, 06:27 PM
 
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Ahead of time, I always send home an evaluation/conference form of some sort. Parents fill one out and so do the students. I look through them and write some notes for myself as well. That way, at conferences, I know exactly what the parents want to cover and what I would like to cover.
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Old 02-16-2006, 06:36 AM
 
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Wow! Lots of great ideas. One thing I always try to have is documentation (graded papers, a print out of their grades, any test scores etc..) Sometimes graded papers don't always make it home.
Good luck!
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Old 02-16-2006, 03:11 PM
 
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You've already gotten great responses, but I just wanted to add one idea. Sometimes I have to meet with parents about specific problems, and it really stinks. If there's a problem to solve, I usually ask them, "What do you think we could do to help ___________?" This helps especially when parents are being pushy and rejecting your ideas because it allows them a chance to have input.
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