Thursday, October 20, 2011

Meet the Parents

Parent conferences are just around the corner for most teachers. We are slightly (understatement of the year) overwhelmed with bats, spiders, pumpkins, report cards, red ribbon week, character day parade, and parent conferences! So while you're thinking in your head..."yeah I know I've met the parent...I'll just put some stuff together for the student and be fine" take a step back and make sure you are prepared!

So what can you do when you meet those parents for report card conferences?

1. Make them comfortable! I know this seems like a silly one but make them feel welcome in your room. I always sit with my parents side by side for conferences because it feels more like your working together than if you sit in your teachers chair facing them.

2. Be prepared with all data and document. Have a folder ready for each conference filled with student samples, goals, tests, and books they've read. Show them samples and books that their child should be reading by the end of the year and where you want their chid to be academically by the next quarter. 

3. Have a clear plan in mind of goals for both reading and math. Let the parents voice their opinions in what they want their student to accomplish this year as well. Remember it is a partnership and if the parent feels like that they will be more willing to help out! 

4. Explain clearly all state standardized test and teacher lingo. Remember that not everyone has a degree in Education.

5. Make sure you have all special forms such as 504 plans, IEP's, ANI's (Academic Needs Information), and Reading Deficiency  letters ready to update and explain to parents.

Anyone have a any nightmares conferences? I told a parent that her student was below grade level but improving and making progress everyday (you know those kids who just need an extra push to get there....or a little more time). The mom burst out into tears telling me her family problems and how she tires to help him but she is so consumed in everything else going on in her life and she feels like this is her fault. She cried through the whole conference. I had a box of tissues for her and tried to keep the conversation on her child. Parents can be very tough to deal with but put your best foot forward and be super prepared for anything!

Happy Conferencing!

Here are some comments for report card and conferences to help you stay positive! 

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