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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Parent Conferences

Do you ever get tongue-tied at parent-teacher conferences? Not sure what to say, especially if the report isn't very good or afraid the parent might be angry? Here are some tips to make your parent-teacher conferences successful and less stressful!
1.  Be proactive, not reactive. This means that the parent-teacher conference should not be the time to spring surprises on the parents. If a student is not doing well, the parent should have been informed of this weeks before the conference. Regular progress reports should have been sent home letting the parent know that the student was struggling in certain areas; not returning work; or having behavioral issues. As a teacher, you should have been having regular contact with the parent via e-mail, phone calls, notes home, etc.
2.  Have your documentation ready. If a student has frequent absences or tardies, have the dates on hand. If a student is not returning homework or not completing work, have that documentation on hand. If work is poorly done, have samples of the work to show the parent.
3.  Have a plan. The plan might be to continue monitoring the students progress, to have a Student Success/Study Team meeting, to send home a daily report letting the parents know how the student is doing. (The daily report does not have to be overwhelming to fill out--the simpler the better!)
4.  Always point out the student's strengths or positive points--every student has some! The student might be polite, have great handwriting, positive attitude, willing to help in the classroom, enjoys cleaning the room, etc. Find something good to say about the student!
5.  Thank the parent for coming and follow through on the plan!

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