7 Tips for Improved Parent Teacher Conferences

 

  1. Let parents set the tone. Ask how they think the year is going first before sharing. Show them that their input matters.
  2. Increase the role of the child. Decrease the role of data. Host student led conferences or share information in the student’s own words. Resist the urge to talk about the child strictly in relation to a set of numbers or grades.
  3. Relinquish your expert status. Recognize the parent as the expert on their child. There may be a key piece of information or insight shared if only you give in to listening.
  4. Don’t just be a grade book keeper. Convey the important life lessons that you are teaching kids. The conference is meant to be more than a rehashing of the report card.
  5. Focus on where students are going, not where they are. Let parents know how you plan on supporting their child as the year progresses.
  6. Understand the parents as human beings. Be compassionate and empathetic. Listen first, and offer to help in the best way that you know how.
  7. End on a high note. Give parents hope as they exit. Give parents something positive to work or grow on. Share the one thing that a parent can do to best support their child and provide any resources needed to make it happen.