Question Detail

What can teachers start doing now to prepare for parent-teacher conferences in early December (2 months away)?

Sep 25, 2014 1:54pm

  • English Language Arts / Math / Science / Social Studies
  • K-6


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    • Sep 27, 2014 9:05am

      Sharon, I like your strategy! I can see the outline.

      Could students write their own?

      For elementary students, I would provide all students with a list of strengths to choose from. For middle school and high school students, I would directly them to an online academic evaluation, like the one at brainboxx or discovery channel. Then list two SMART goals. Finally, I would have them say how they would use their strength to meet their goals.

      Once the students have does this, I would add encouragement, resources, examples of how I have seen this happening. Ask students to attach samples of their work as well.

      • Sep 28, 2014 6:34am

        One thing that really made a huge impact on me as a parent was to hear the teacher tell me things she noticed about my child on a personal level. For example: he has a great sense of humor, he is honest , and he is an empathetic friend. As a teacher I know the importance of knowing the children we teach and as a parent this made all the difference.

        • Sep 29, 2014 8:10am


          It also may be helpful to give a formative assessment to the students so you can share strengths and areas in need of improvement aligned to specific standards so your parents can support their kids at home. I also love the idea of having the students assess themselves in response to specific content areas as it would be valuable data for both you and the parents.

          As a parent, I love seeing the work of my little one and I also agree that hearing personal stories about the kids shows how much your connecting on both an academic and a social/emotional personal level.

          Katie Novak

          • Sep 27, 2014 4:11pm

            her in Arabian countries we made parents meeting after exams like first quarter and so on , it gives parent a clear view about academic level of his/her son , and about behavior inside class
            each teacher know his students he can appreciate their behavior inside class to their parents. what do you think sharon

            • Oct 27, 2014 8:29pm

              Jessica, This is something that we have been studying in Class Management. One of the most helpful things I have read was to be in close contact with your parents so they are aware of any issues, low grades, or anything negative that needs discussing before Parent Teacher Conferences. Parent Teacher Conferences need to be positive. The teacher should have good things to share with the parents that the students have made and find positive information to discuss with the parent. If any negative issues have occurred, they should be taken care of well in advance of the conference. One idea my speech communication instructor taught was the sandwich method. When you critique someone start off with a complement,tactfully say what needs needs to be fixed, then end with a complement. This works great with dealing with parents also. When presenting information that needs fixing, find something pleasant to say first, add in the negative in a tactful way then close with a complement or something pleasant. When Parent Teacher Conferences are pleasant, it helps the parents to return, but if the last things they hear are discouraging it makes them more reluctant to come the next time. This information was helpful to me, because it always seemed to me that Parent Teacher Conferences were to tell me what all my son was doing wrong, they never seemed to be pleasant, so I always dreaded going. As a teacher, I do not want parents to associate negative thoughts with our meetings when they reflect back.

              I hope this has helped a little.

              • Nov 9, 2014 7:28pm

                These are all such great ideas!

                Another idea is to have a running list of notes on each student where you jot down informal observations about behavior, academics, needs, etc. Then before conferences you condense these notes into a few sentences about each student.

                For the younger kids (K/1) another idea is to have short video clips (iPad or iPhone works well) of the student talking about something they are proud of/doing well. Then you can use this as an opener to your conference.