“I must say I don’t really care for parent/teacher conferences. I showed the paper to Seth and said, ‘Let’s just sign up to talk to Miss Birt,’” a mom shared with me. Since Seth is a high-school student, this mom wouldn’t be signing up for a conference with me, but I told her I’d be glad to visit with her. I’m sure she doesn’t enjoy the conferences because she usually hears comments about areas of difficulty for her child.
How does a teacher conduct a positive and helpful parent-teacher conference? How can I be honest and give useful feedback? How do I present those academic or behavioral problems in a manner that we can discuss them and think about how to help the child? I want to support families in raising their children. I want the parents to back me up. What can the parents tell me that will aid in understanding their child?
How do parents feel when they come to school for a conference with the teacher? I’ve been told that parents were eager to come and hear what I had to say. Some parents tell me they’ve been wondering how their child was doing. I know some parents feel intimidated by this meeting because they may be remembering their school days, or are nervous about what the teacher will share.
Here are some tips for conducting parent-teacher conferences. They are points I’ve learned from my administrators and from my years of experience.
We are partnering with parents, and their children are precious to them. I am honored that they have entrusted their children to me and I want to treat this as a privilege to come alongside and work with parents in educating their children.
Courtesy of Ephrata Mennonite School, this is a link to a form used at Parent-Teacher Conferences. The form has prompts for teacher feedback to parents and parent/student feedback for teachers, as well as reminders of general protocol for the conference.