Prior to Conferences
- Send out your sign-up sheet a few weeks ahead of time. Have parents mark their 3 most preferable times, ordering them from 1 to 3.
- For those that you know or suspect will need extra, leave the time slot immediately after theirs free.
- If you don’t get a conference slip back from a student’s parents, make a phone call or send an email to try to set one up.
- Send home a survey for parents to fill out. Questions they may have for you and/or concerns about their child. Have them return it to you prior to the conference so that you are prepared.
- Send home a conference reminder – listing the time and day for their scheduled conference. Copy on colored paper to have it stand out
- Have students complete a self-evaluation to rate their own learning, behavior, etc.
- Prior to the conference, fill out the conference notes. This will help with maintaing a focus and purpose.
Setting the Stage
- Make sure your room is tidy.
- Have students clean out their desks
- Outside the classroom, have a table decorated for the appropriate season.
- Consider having a basket with candy for waiting parents
- Include a sign-in sheet.
- Have chairs sitting outside the room
- Display student work in the hallway for them to look at while waiting.
- Need supplies? Have a wish list for parents to choose something to donate.
- Close the door for privacy
- Don't sit behind a desk. Sitting side by side is ideal. This helps parents feel less intimidated.
- Make eye contact.
- Begin the conference with saying something positive about their child.
- While conferencing, always remember that their child is their world and that you all ultimately want what is best for their child. Within reason, the parent is always right.
- Take notes. This will serve as a reminder for you. You see many parents during conference time, and it's hard to remember everything you talked about with all parents.
- Make it a priority to stick to the allotted time. You don’t want angry parents before they come to the conference.
- Thank them for coming and let them know you are looking forward to the rest of the year.
- Send home a thank-you note to parents that came.
- Continue a channel of communication between home and school.
You can download the free forms that you see within this post HERE.
Wishing you successful parent teacher conferences!