Parent Conference...Stressed!

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by KinderMissN, May 18, 2008.

  1. KinderMissN

    KinderMissN Companion

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    May 18, 2008

    I have a parent conference tomorrow. It is regarding the retention of her student in kindergarten next year. I can only suggest retention at this point. I am a first year teacher and this is my first conference regarding retention. Any advice, tips, etc??
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2008

    Do you have a department/grade chair, veteran teacher, counselor, or administrator who can sit in on the meeting?

    I teach in high school, so I don't have any experience with retaining kids. If I did need to talk to a parent about a delicate subject with which I had no experience, though, I'd feel more comfortable with someone in the room who had done it before.
     
  4. KinderMissN

    KinderMissN Companion

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    May 18, 2008

    I teach at a small school. I'm the only K teacher. This is one of the times where it really stinks.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2008

    That's tough. Are you the only one who has any say in whether the student is retained?
     
  6. Tinkerbell

    Tinkerbell Rookie

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    May 18, 2008

    Hi,
    I agree with Cassie. I have a little experience teaching Kinder. When I had to let a parent know that their child needed to be retained, I would provide them with some work samples of their child and a "higher" student from your class. We were allowed to do this as long as we covered the name of the other student with a piece of paper. Sometimes if the parent sees what the other children are doing compared with their child, that is all they need. Also, if they see the expectations for 1st grade that may help them too.

    Tinkerbell
     
  7. KinderMissN

    KinderMissN Companion

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    May 18, 2008

    Ultimately, it is the parent's decision. All I can do is suggest it. I have the student's TPRI results that show he is not yet developed in letter recognition, and knows very few letter sounds.
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    May 18, 2008

    I like to have comparable work for a parent to look at. If this is an only child or the oldest the parent may not have realistic expectations of what a kindergarten student should be able to do. The first thing you can show her is the state grade level guidelines and point out any that the student does not meet. Next, show her specific assessments or work that targets those areas and point out why they do not fulfill the targeted area. I try to keep student work from the next lowest student and from an average student (I make a copy, white out any names and make another copy so there is no chance of identification). Having something to show them where their peers are after the same instruction can really help a parent see why you are seeking retention. I have to say that in most schools in my area students are "placed" in first grade unless it is a social issue so that they can receive Reading Recovery and qualify for more special ed testing than we have in kindergarten. I would also see if the school counselor could sit in on the meeting with you.
     
  9. KinderMissN

    KinderMissN Companion

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    May 18, 2008

    Good to know, Tasha. This student has an older sibling in first grade. It was suggested that she remain in Kinder, but mom preferred her to move up to first. This school year was her second time around in the first grade. I have a feeling it will go the same way.
    I plan to let mom know of his strengths (his conduct is excellent, and I have seen TONS of improvement this school year) and then move into the TPRI scores. The first grade teacher at our school would like them to be able to decode CVC words at the beginning of first grade. With a limited knowledge of letter sounds, I am afraid that this work would be very frustrating for him.
     
  10. repete8

    repete8 Companion

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    May 19, 2008

    Sorry, this might be too late. Can the first grade teacher maybe sit in and explain expectations for her grade?
    I was in the same situation my first year. Luckily, there was a great reading specialist who sat in with me and explained her Brigance testing. It was great to have her there.
    Even with 6 years experience, I am still nervous talking to parents about retention. Ultimately, its the parent's choice, so don't beat yourself up about their choice to move them up. Make sure you have them sign a letter that states that they disagree with your recommendation of retention. If you need a letter, I have one already typed up. Good Luck!!!
     

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