Parent-teacher conferences are around the corner, and there’s a lot to do to get prepared. Here are several tips to keep your conferences positive and productive:
Know exactly what you want to cover. With 15 or 20 minutes per family, it’s best to go into each conference with a clear agenda. Give parents a brief but comprehensive snapshot of how their children are doing in class.
Speak in specifics, not generalities. Be thorough in your overview of each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and progress in all subjects. Allow a little time for parent questions, too.
Have a folder of examples and data to share. Parents will be able to better digest what you tell them if you show them tangible examples of their children’s work. Think charts and graphs of test scores, samples of graded assignments, and other visual aids.
Offer actionable tips. Provide parents a list of ideas to work on at home with their children. If possible, use some of the examples of past work to explain what you are looking for from students, whether that is doing neater work or answering all questions thoroughly and completely.
Lastly, end things on a positive note. Make parents comfortable by reminding them that you are there to help, that you invite them to reach out with any questions or concerns, and that your goal is to help their children succeed. That constructive and optimistic approach will keep your conferences focused on what matters most: your students.