Presentation on theme: "Lyn Steed University of West Georgia. Send a personal letter to each parent to confirm the day, time, and place of the conference. Give parents plenty."— Presentation transcript:
Send a personal letter to each parent to confirm the day, time, and place of the conference. Give parents plenty of notice of the conference. Plan carefully and be prepared with examples of student work. Invite both parents. Find out ahead of time if the biological parents, a relative, a guardian, a foster parent, or step-parent is coming to the conference. Check and double check names! Allow enough time for the meeting (20-30 min). Be prepared to answer specific questions: ability level, specific subjects, problem areas, behavior issues, strengths and weakness, and social skills.
Get your papers ready in advance: grade book, test papers, sample of student’s work, attendance records, behavior referrals. Fill out a pre-conference form to organize your thoughts on each student. Use the form as an agenda for the meeting. Prepare materials ahead of time that parents can take home to help support their child at home. Make parents feel comfortable: have adult size seating, pen and paper, table to spread out student’s work.
Greet the parents at the door and be sure to get their names correct. Start the conference on time and by showing the parents that you care and know something positive about their child. Use “active” or reflective listening. “I hear you saying ______, is that correct?” Be specific in your comments and provide parents with concrete examples. Offer a suggested course of action and ask for parents input.
Use body language: nod, make eye contact, smile, and lean slightly forward. Stress collaboration- to work together with the parents in the best interest of their child… a partnership. Listen to the parents’ concerns. Focus on solutions rather than the problems. Summarize the conference before it ends. End on a positive note. Offer to make parents a copy of the conference. Meet again if you need more time. Keep a record of the conference and have it signed by all who attended. Always thank the parents for attending the conference.
Finish any notes you need to on the form. Record your observations, perceptions, and suggestions on a separate piece of paper. Decompress between conferences. You need time to gather your thoughts, to regroup, and get ready for the next conference. Follow up as necessary with phone calls, notes, messages. If the child has improved, say so. Act on the your part of the plan. Send home letters to parents who did not show and request another day and time. File folders back in their place for the next conference and out of the children's reach. Do not sugar-coat the situation, be truthful
Be careful of conversational traps! Avoid comparing one child with another Do not focus on family problems Do not psychoanalyze a child, suggest therapy, or to seek medical help. Do not talk about other teachers. Do not argue with a parent. Do not use educational jargon or acronyms.
Avoid getting emotional. Do not point fingers or place blame. Do not put the parent on the defensive. Do not compare siblings. Do not dwell on attributes that are unlikely to change. If you are threaten, notify the administration immediately.