How to handle parent teacher conferences


How to Handle the Parent-Teacher Conference

  • Come to the Parent-Teacher Conference Prepared. The worst thing that you can do is be unprepared for a parent-teacher conference. …
  • Always Start and End with a Positive. No parent wants to hear anything negative about their child. …
  • Don’t Just Explain it, Show it. If you are going to tell a parent that her child needs to work on long division, then you should show them an example …
  • Address All Questions, Comments, and Concerns. As the conference comes to an end, give parents time to ask questions or comment on any concerns they may have for their child.
  • Continue Communication. Once the conference is over, don’t forget to follow up on any concerns a parent may have had. Schedule another conference, or keep in contact with the parent.
Mastering the Parent-Teacher Meeting: Eight Powerful Tips
  1. Be Proactive. …
  2. Be Welcoming. …
  3. Explain Objectives and Expectations. …
  4. Be Prepared. …
  5. Create an Action Plan. …
  6. Use the Good-Bad-Good Sandwich. …
  7. Don’t Tolerate Abuse. …
  8. Keep Lines of Communication Open.

How can I organize a parent-teacher conference?

How can I organize a Parent-Teacher Conference?

  • Step-by-step instructions. Please follow these steps on how to set up your upcoming Parent-Teacher Conference. …
  • Announcing the Parent-Teacher Conference. If you already have invited the parents, you can go ahead and announce the conference times. …
  • Editing your conferences. …
  • Viewing the Parent-Teacher Conference Sign-ups. …

What is your method of approach to Parent Teacher Conferences?

Tips for a Successful Parent-Teacher Conference

  • Communicate Before a Conference. Regular communication with parents throughout the year can prevent issues down the road so that there is not as much to discuss at a single conference.
  • Come Prepared. …
  • Be Prepared for Upset Parents. …
  • Think About the Room Setup. …
  • Begin and End on a Positive Note. …
  • Be Attentive. …
  • Avoid Eduspeak. …

How to plan a productive parent teacher conference?

Tips for a Successful Parent-Teacher Conference

  • Think About the Room Setup. Teachers should position themselves close to parents for comfort and engagement during conferences. …
  • Begin and End on a Positive Note. Teachers should begin and end every conference with a compliment or (true) anecdote about a student’s strength.
  • Be Attentive. …
  • Avoid Eduspeak. …

How to have a successful parent teacher conference?

Tips for a Successful Parent-Teacher Conference

  • Come Prepared. Teachers should have examples of student work available for reference at every parent-teacher conference.
  • Be Prepared for Upset Parents. Every teacher will face an angry parent at some point. …
  • Think About the Room Setup. …
  • Begin and End on a Positive Note. …
  • Be Attentive. …
  • Avoid Eduspeak. …

How do you deal with a difficult parent teacher conference?

7 Tips for Teachers on Dealing with Difficult ParentsNo Surprises. … Meet Face-to-Face with Parents. … Alert Your Principal or Department Chair to the Situation. … Listen and Ask Questions. … Try to Find Things You Agree On. … Don’t Allow Yourself to Be Pressured. … Know When the Conversation Is Over.

What do I say during the parent teacher conference?

When planning what to say at parent teacher conferences, prepare a way to end on a positive note. You could tell why you love having the child in your class, highlight an overall strength, or a special connection you have with the child.

How do you structure a parent teacher conference?

Parents’ Parent-Teacher Conference To-Do List:Plan ahead. Determine what you need to know.Make a list of questions. Review them and prioritize them.Identify goals. Find out what the teacher expects from your child and why.Listen to the teacher. … Seek at-home strategies. … Plan regular updates. … Get answers.

How can parents survive parent teacher conferences?

Avoid angry or apologetic reactions. Instead, ask for examples. Ask what is being done about the problem and what strategies seem to help at school. Develop an action plan that may include steps that parents can take at home and steps the teacher will take at school.

What should you not say at a parent-teacher conference?

Avoid teacher-talk. Be sure to explain any terms, curriculum titles, or even words on progress reports that aren’t commonly used outside the school setting.

What questions should I ask at parent-teacher meeting?

Top 15 questions to ask your child’s teacherWhat is his/her biggest weakness?What is his/her biggest strength?In what areas of Maths he/she needs more attention?In what areas of English he/she needs more attention?What can we emphasize at home to improve and help?Is he/she good at reading?More items…

What should be discussed in parents meeting?

Tips to Prepare for a Parent-teacher MeetingAn overview of your child’s work and his coping skills.Your child’s conduct in class and with their social skills with peers.Areas of improvement for your child and your involvement in making those changes.

How should you always begin a parent-teacher conference?

Always begin a parent-teacher conference with a positive comment. Your child needs to learn to share with others. He tries to get others’ attention. He is capbale of doing more.

What are two strategies you could try for getting such hard to reach parents to have a conference with you about their child’s progress?

Try to remain calm and follow a few tips from the National Education Association:Emphasize the positive.Let the parents talk first.Use active listening. … Discuss how both parties want what’s best for the child.Agree on a strategy and get on the same page before including the child in the conversation.

How are PTA meetings organized?

Conducting PTA MeetingsPrepare the agenda and distribute written notice to members (See: Sample Agenda Fig. … Make the necessary preparations.Attend the meeting to demonstrate their commitment.Start and end the meeting on time.Give members an opportunity to participate in the decision making at the meeting.More items…

What are the objectives of parent teacher meeting?

Parents’ main objective for parent teacher meetings is usually to identify their child’s current strengths and weaknesses, so try to meet every teacher on the list even if you’ve spoken to them in previous years. Remember to take notes during each meeting so you don’t forget important information.

Why is parent-teacher conference important?

Take the parent-teacher conference as an opportunity to extend the lines of communication between home and school and develop a strategic plan for your students’ futures. Here are a few tips on how to handle the parent-teacher conference …

Can parents hear negative things about their children?

No parent wants to hear anything negative about their child. It’s always best to start with something positive, then follow it with what the child needs to work on, not what they are bad at.

How long does it take for a teacher to give a presentation?

Students share their work with their parents for the first half hour, and then teachers give a 30-minute presentation just for parents that builds on the work students are doing in school. Afterward, teachers provide related resources—games, websites, readings—that families can take home to use with their children.

What is 11th grade meeting?

In 11th grade, the student-led meetings are college and career focused. Students discuss their career interests and hopes for college, then create an action plan so they’re ready to apply. “School is not here to happen to students,” says Dan St. Louis, University Park’s principal. “They are an active participant.”.

Who suggested that parents think their kids are perfect?

To handle tricky situations when you have to give negative feedback at conferences, an approach suggested by Joe Hirsch, a leadership coach and former curriculum developer, might help.

Who is Maria Paredes?

While working as the director of community education in Creighton Elementary School District in Phoenix, Maria Paredes developed Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT), a new take on parent-teacher conferences that is now used by schools all over the country.

Who is Terri Eichholz?

Terri Eichholz, an elementary teacher of over 25 years, also suggests being proactive and getting ahead of the feedback. “Don’t wait for problems to arise. Make it a point to communicate frequently and positively so that you have already developed a relationship before you hit bumps in the road,” she says.

Do parent teacher conferences have to be a headache?

Parent-teacher conferences don’t have to be such a headache. Educators weigh in on how to solve common problems.

Let the teacher know you are divorced ahead of time

To eliminate any awkwardness or uncomfortable situations, let the teacher know you are divorced before the parent-teacher conference. Once the teacher knows, you can also request two copies of everything sent home including report cards.

Reach out to your ex beforehand

Have a simple conversation with your ex about the upcoming parent-teacher conference beforehand. You do not want your first encounter or interaction with your ex to be at school. Use this conversation as an opportunity to discuss your goals for the conference and set expectations.

Own your own energy

Be mindful that you are in control of your emotions. Do not let your ex control your emotions. You are the only one who can control your emotions and it’s important to be mindful of that.

Keep it about the children

Remember this meeting is about your child’s education and nothing else. Stay neutral. Stay focused on your child, not on your failed marriage. Keep your issues with your ex at bay and focus on your child’s education.

Do not place blame

It is important to remember that it isn’t a competition. One parent may have custody during the school week so it seems easy to place the blame for any school-related issues on them, but as co-parents that is not fair nor is it the case. Stay focused on what you can do together to support your child and remain a united front.

Treat your ex with respect

Respect each other. No matter how bad your relationship may be, you do not want to let that become the focus of the parent-teacher conference. There is no reason to be swinging insults at your ex or screaming profanities in this setting. Pay attention to your body language and tone of voice. Take the high road and be the bigger person.

Last resort

If you feel it is not an option to sit in the same room with your ex, then consider requesting two separate meetings. Not all schools will be able to accommodate this request, but it is worth asking your child’s teacher if this is an option. You might also consider a phone conference if the school is unable to accommodate two separate meetings.

Be Proactive

Don’t forget to factor in some students’ ninja-like ability to ensure their parents don’t know conference times and dates; the same student who may have trouble on his math exams may be secretly adept at hacking into his dad’s smartphone and deleting a voicemail. Repeated communication is occasionally necessary.

Be Welcoming

Set the right tone for your parent-teacher meeting by shaking hands, stating your name and the subject you teach, and mentioning how happy you are to be teaching their child. Smile warmly, and offer them a seat. If you’re looking for an easy way to break the ice, share a positive anecdote about their child.

Explain Objectives and Expectations

I like to give parents an overview of the goals for my classes and a copy of our reading list. I discuss the expectations I have for my students and explain any language that a parent might not be familiar with: rubric, scaffolding, readiness, testing acronyms, etc.

Be Prepared

Parents want to see that the teacher knows their child and has a plan for their success. Review your students’ grades and portfolios before the conferences. Jot down notes about each student, anticipate questions or parental concerns, and reread any prior parent communication so you don’t miss a beat.

Create an Action Plan

Parents don’t want a laundry list of concerns dumped in their laps—they want to know how you’re going to fix the problem. Create an action plan that clearly lays out the specific steps that the teacher, the parent, and the student will need to take in order for the student to be successful.

Use the Good-Bad-Good Sandwich

When it comes to discussing tough topics with a parent, this trick is the silver bullet. Start by highlighting something positive—”Gerald’s writing shows an insight I don’t often see in students his age”—then move on to the issue: “The problem is that Gerald is often off-task, and I’ve caught him on his phone several times.

Don’t Tolerate Abuse

I’ve had parents threaten to call the superintendent, the mayor, the pope (OK, maybe not the pope, but you get the idea). If a parent becomes abusive, simply end the meeting; explain how they can take up the matter with the principal. There’s no reason you have to let a parent bully or intimidate you.

Come prepared

The most important thing you can do to try to have a productive, positive conference is preparation ahead of time. Have any email correspondence printed, have student work ready and organized, any other documentation that might help you—tutorials offered, tutorials attended, reminders given, work from other students in the same class.

Make an effort to be dressed professionally and show that you have taken care with your appearance

You don’t need to buy or wear anything expensive or fancy necessarily (and if you are able to buy expensive things on your teacher’s paycheck, please let me know where you work so I can apply there immediately), but make sure this isn’t the day you’re wearing your most casual outfit either.

Ask an administrator to be present

You shouldn’t do this for every parent conference, but if you are genuinely nervous that things may get heated, ask for an administrator to sit in on it with you. Make sure you let parents know this ahead of time if you can so that it doesn’t look like you’re trying to be sneaky or catch them off-guard.

Rehearse for the worst, but hope for the best

When you’re at home or in your car, have a pretend conversation with the parent or parents in which they say the most absurd things imaginable, like, “Well, Steven says that you admitted to being the leader of a cult in your spare time,” or “We believe Katie is actually Albert Einstein reincarnated, so we know that it is not possible she’s ever been wrong in your class.” Practice your responses to these questions, (“Oh, Steven has such an imagination! Unfortunately, I think there’s a bit of a breakdown between what happens at school and what is being communicated at home.” And “Yes, Katie is so bright, and I love that about her! But even Albert Einstein had a tough time in school, and I want to make sure Katie makes it through this tough time using the incredible work ethic she and Albert share.”) Rehearsing for the worst won’t just prepare you for keeping a handle on your emotions, but chances are it won’t go nearly as badly as the worst you can imagine, so you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised..

Think about your boundaries before the meeting starts

Often we come in knowing what we won’t do (ask Nathan 2,491 times per day to write his homework down, give Monica an A on a project when she clearly deserves a C on the rubric, etc.). But equally important is knowing ahead of time what you are willing to do.

Remember that what is said at home is not always the same as what happens at school

Many times when you encounter scary parents, this is what has happened: kid comes home crying because he/she is upset about something that may or not have been within their control. Mom/Dad’s protective instinct kicks in (rightfully). Kid omits/misrepresents details in order to avoid trouble/blame. Mom and Dad go to teacher.

Keep your cool

It will be a lot harder for Those Parents to be mean to you if you’re treating them with kindness and respect.


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