Parent-teacher conference time can be one of the most eye-opening weeks of the school year. Yes, I know it requires long hours on the part of the teacher, but having the chance to personally connect with each child’s parents is invaluable.
This year, our school used SignUpGenius to schedule our conferences. It was wonderful! Each teacher created a sign-up page, and all the teachers released their schedules live within fifteen minutes of each other. A fast and simple solution, this helped the parents who wished to schedule back-to-back conferences with multiple teachers.
Every year I make a folder for each child. I like to call it their “Third Grade Book of Memories.” It includes a page they complete the first day of school, all their writing projects, several interesting pages from other subjects, and finally a booklet they create at the end of the year about our class. These are available for the parents to look over when they first arrive at the conference. I also display our classroom spelling journal and our prayer request journal for parents to view.
I have realized that a little preparation before goes a long way during the week. I always type up a short note about each student to make sure I know what I want to cover. After opening in prayer, I like to start with something positive. Then I address the student’s strengths and weaknesses on the academic, social, and spiritual levels. And finally I share a page from our Bible book. It has some great questions that the students have answered, and the parents always enjoy seeing this.
Once I’ve shared that page with the parents, I ask if they have any questions. Then I end the conference by mentioning a goal for each child for the following quarter.
Following the conferences, we are required to do a write-up for each student. Remember those notes I typed up beforehand? I simply edit those, making additions as needed and copying and pasting them right into my follow-up form. I’m so glad to have an efficient way to keep track of all these important details.
What things have you found that you can do to make parent-teacher conferences go smoothly?