Meeting with parents during conference times can be intimidating for any teacher especially when you don't feel like you have the most positive news to share. But parent conferences do not have to be overwhelming or stressful. These tips for how to prepare for parent teacher conferences will take the stress out of preparing for conferences and have you confident and prepared on conference day.
1. Prepare Conference Forms for each Student
Prior to conferences, write up a conference report for each of your students. Include positives and areas for growth. When you list strengths as glows and concerns as grows it keeps everything in a more positive light and shows parents that you truly care for their child. For example, if a student calls out incessantly his grow could be, raise hand more often. Or if a student is always in other people's personal space, her grow could be to respect other's space or stay in your personal bubble. Wording things in a positive way sends a message that you are there to help, not put a child down.
2. Send Home a Preview Question Form
The best way to be prepared and curb your anxiety is to ask parents what they'd like to discuss before the conference. A few weeks before conferences, send home a simple questionnaire to find out what concerns or questions parents have for you. Then use this information to prepare for your parent meeting so you do not get caught off guard with a random question you did not anticipate.
I have a FREE pre-conference form here in my TPT store. Give it a try – it just may help you to build your confidence going into conferences.
3. Make a Folder for Each Student
To help keep all your handouts, forms, etc. organized create a folder for each of your students. This way when you have back-to-back conferences all you need to do if grab the next folder to find all your information. A simple manilla folder will do, but you could opt to use pocket folders and send them home with parents so they can review the information at home. The folders are also helpful for parents who are unable to attend in person, so you can send the folder home with your student so parents still get all the information you wanted to share.
Looking for some conference forms to keep yourself organized? Click here to check out this pack of editable conference forms that has everything you need for successful conferences.
What other tips do you have for running successful conferences?