Writing my way through the school year!

Parent Teacher conferences. Twice a year,(or more), we sit down with our students’ parents and relay the good or bad news about their child.  A parent teacher conference can go two ways, productive or non-productive. I recall  many conferences, and  many types of parents. The wonderful, supportive, parent, the hostile parent, the parent that won’t leave no matter how many times you stand up, the ones who just nod, the appreciative parents, the ones who share every aspect of their lives, while the letters,  “TMI” run through your brain,and my favorite, the  parents who share how much they and their child love you.

 Year after year, I have tried to find a way to make my conferences productive. I have  attempted to find a way to share information, no matter the parent type.  I have always felt frustration, when after a parent leaves, and I think, “Oh, I forgot to tell her/him….”  Last year, I created a form based on  some of the questions from a worksheet that my  Phi Delta Kappa soror shared with me. Parent teacher conference form revised  The  first question is ” What are your concerns or comments?” This allows my parents to feel, as they should,that I care about what they think.  As we complete the form, using the questions to guide the conference and open discussion between myself and the parent. I feel that the form  answers questions parents have, but  forget, or don’t ask. After the form is completed, the parent signs it, thereby giving me a document supporting that I have kept the parent informed. When I used the form,  the conference moved along smoothly.  I keep the original, and send a signed copy home to the parent the next day. I also send filled out forms home  to parents who don’t attend,and  have them sign it.   This marking period, I am going to review the first form with the parent, and see how it compares to the current marking period. As a parent, I know conferences aren’t always easy, especially if the child is not doing well. Hopefully, my form makes it easier to focus on  the purpose of the conference, bringing together the parent and the teacher in a productive atmosphere.

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