Parent Teacher Conferences

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Tbelle1035, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Dec 20, 2009

    In January we will be having a day of parent conferences. Each conference will be 10 minutes long, with a 5 minute break between them. I am very nervous, because I don't think 10 minutes is enough time to cover everything. Although I have give parents the option of meeting with me for a longer time after school in lieu of coming in on this day, only one parent has opted to do that.

    My question: Does anyone have a format I might use during each of the conferences to make the best use of this short time frame?

    thank you.
     
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  3. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Dec 20, 2009

    We have 15 minute conferences with no breaks in between! Could you use that break time to give you an extra 5 minutes?

    Here's how my conferences go:
    -Our report cards go home before conferences so I start by asking if they have questions.
    -Behaviors and observations.
    -Then I move to the data (DIBELS, MAP, word lists, etc.). I consolidate all this into one page so that they can look at one sheet instead of multiple pages. I explain everything on it.
    -What we will be working on next.
    -Questions from parents.

    I go through all my files before hand to make sure that all papers are filled out and in the right order. This makes the conference flow smoother.

    I hope this helps a little.
     
  4. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Dec 20, 2009

    Thank you, your response is very helpful. I will use and adapt your ideas to fit my needs. I suspect I will get behind anyway. It's a lot to cram into 10 minutes. I just hope parents don't get irritated if they have to wait a bit.
     
  5. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Dec 21, 2009

    I also set a timer for 10 minutes. I apologize when doing it but tell the parents I enjoy talking with them so much that time escapes me. It keeps me from having angry parents later.
     
  6. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Dec 21, 2009

    Good idea. And I like your tactful little comment as well!
     
  7. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Dec 21, 2009

    I put a sign on my door "Please knock at your scheduled time!" That way if I get carried away talking or the parents do the knock gets us both on track. It lets both of us know time is up. I am very prepared for my conferences and I rarely get behind.
     
  8. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Dec 22, 2009

    That is too short. This is what I would say:

    Thanks for meeting with me today. Our time is short so I'll be brief. Overall, student is doing very well this semester. There are just two areas of improvement I'd like to talk about, but the good news is we're already making progress on these goals and I think if we emphasize this at home too we'll see some great results.

    ...then pick two things to improve, study more for tests, give better attention to homework, limit social talking or be more aware of behavior...

    Then end with a good list of accomplishments and positive attributes you've seen in the student, as well as interesting activities coming up.

    I'd suggest you not eat up that 5 mins between as you need time to make notes about the previous meeting and look over grades and report cards for the next meeting.
    Good luck!
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 23, 2009

    Our parent/teacher interviews are 15 minutes back-to-back and, for most, this is enough time. We have grade 7 and 8 students act as "door-knockers" to help keep us on track; if we didn't have these, I would use a timer. Out of courtesy, it is important to stay on time. If more time is needed, book another interview time or, when booking appointments the first time, book 2 time slots. Our interviews follow report cards, so we discuss the student's strengths and next steps directly relating to the report. For any students who are struggling, either academically or with learning skills or work habits, we have spoken to the parents before report cards go home, sometimes several times, so there are no surprises and a long meeting at this time isn't needed.
     
  10. stc1960

    stc1960 New Member

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    Dec 23, 2009

    Actually, ten minutes is pretty long.

    I say that because teachers should already be contacting and meeting parents on day one. The parent teacher conferences are just formalities.

    And new teachers, if you are not contacting parents on a regular basis, you need to start.

    Parent teacher conferences are not for blind sides.

    Parents should already know what is going on with their child. And, the best discipline program begins with having contact with parents. Make the first call a get-to-know-you call. Not a disciplinary call.

    So, between now and the conferences, start making calls. If you have 30 students, and make 5 calls a day, you are done in 6 days. It sounds like a lot of work, but it isn't.

    Start an email list too.

    But elementary teachers should have personal relationships with all parents. You need to encourage parents to drop by often. You are right, you cannot discuss everything in 10 minutes. But you shouldn't have to. There should be at worst, a couple of parents who don't have a clue.

    Stephen C
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 23, 2009

    Absolutely!!!
     
  12. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    Dec 23, 2009

    I understand - 10 minutes is way to short - I like some of the ideas above, and I would definitely set myself with a timer. If a parent isn't done meeting with you at the end of the conference, I would simply ask them to meet you either before or after school to continue your conversations.
     
  13. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Jan 2, 2010

    Thank you for all your thoughtful answers. I will be using many of the ideas you've suggested to do what I think will work for me.

    I agree that 10 minutes is just not enough time. I will just have to come up with a plan that works for me.

    Thanks again for some useful suggestions!:thanks:
     
  14. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Jan 3, 2010

    I always send a note beforehand and explain that our conferences will be very short. Then I ask parents to please write their questions and concerns down beforehand. This will help enormously because after hearing what I have to say, parents often forget their questions, and leave the conference. Then, they think of 10 things that they wanted to ask. So, try sending a note beforehand, and this will make your conferencing go much smoother. I even provide a form for parents to write down their questions and comments and bring to the conference. See example below:

    Dear Parent,

    I am really looking forward to talking to you each of you on our Conference Day, January 26, 2010. We will have a limited amount of time to discuss your child's progress since I will be meeting with each parent on this day. Please use the form below to write your questions and concerns before the conference. This will really help to make the most of our conference time together.
    Sincerely,
    Mrs. HaveaNiceDay

    Questions and Comments below.:woot:

    Hope this helps!
     
  15. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Jan 3, 2010

    Another great suggestion. Maybe I will write something up and send it home the day before.:thanks:
     

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