parent-teacher conferences

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by otsegogirl27, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. otsegogirl27

    otsegogirl27 Rookie

    Sep 18, 2006
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    Oct 29, 2006

    i'm now in a private school, coming from daycare. i'm a relatively new teacher, but have never had parent teacher conferences. can anyone give any pointers on where to start and what to say about the evaluations? i was told to give 1/2 hour time. do they usually run short of time or longer? or is a 1/2 hr pretty good? curriculum wise, we use links to learning. does anyone else use that? i hate it. no one there likes it, and i can't get motivated to do a good job with these lesson plans. any ideas if you use that curriculum? thanks :)
  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Apr 12, 2006
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    Oct 29, 2006

    I'm a Secondary Math teacher, and the mom of one last preschooler. (The other 2 are in elementary school.) So here goes:

    As a mom, here's what I hope to get from a teacher conference:
    - How is my child doing socially? (A biggie in preschool) Does she play nicely with the other kids? How is she at conflict resolution? Does she join in when the kids are playing? When you're doing a group activity?
    - Academically, where does she stand? Is she right in there with the pack or do you see a problem of some sort? Is there anything I could or should be doing at home?
    - Are there any other issues you think I should be aware of? Do you see a concern on her speech, her fine motor skills, gross motor skills, or anything? If so, could you give me an idea of how to start getting her services? (Around here, that means a phone call to the district office for the diagnostic test package.) (When I was concerned about my youngest's speech, the teacher waited a whole year before agreeing that she should be tested. So I lost a year when I was a SAHM, and am now juggling it with working full time. Ouch.) If you do suggest testing, what does it imply? My husband thought we were saying my daughter had cognitive issues, not merely speech ones. Any parent in our shoes is looking for a clear explanation of what you're saying.
    -For those families for whom it applies: if you're recomending any sort of service/counseling-- give them some phone numbers to start with. That first step is a LOT easier if there's a definite starting place.

    As a teacher, here are are further suggestions:
    -If the kids are coming with mom (count on some: babysitters are expensive), have some puzzles or books or crayons out for them to work with. You'll have relative calm to talk.
    - Take control of the conference. You want to come across as professional. Dress the part. Greet the parents with a handshake and a positive remark about their child and how happy you are to have him in your class.
    - Have a list of the things you want to discuss: his progress socially, academically, and so on.
    -Be careful with word choice. Parents, particularly first time parents, are going to quote you word for word. So be careful with words like "very" or "always" or "never."
    -Ask whether there are any issues at home you should be aware of. A pending divorce, and sick grandparent, a new puppy, a pregnant mom: all these things will effect how a young child faces his or her day.

    At the end of the conference, stand, shake hands, and let the parents know it's been a pleasure. Let them know they should feel free to contact you with any concerns.

    Good luck. It's really not nearly as scary as it seems at first!
  4. msaly

    msaly Comrade

    Feb 21, 2006
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    Oct 29, 2006

    we do not use that curriculum, so im not much help there. My parent conferences are 15 mins tops, sometimes less. I keep my own portfolio for each child, besides the one the school is required to have. So i show each parent their child portfolio, it has art/cutting samples, pictures they drew, pictures i have taken, and their assessments. I explain the assessments carefully so i know that they understand what it means. If i have any concerns I bring it to their attention. Very basic and simple
  5. MissWilliams

    MissWilliams Rookie

    Oct 22, 2006
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    Oct 29, 2006

    Regarding the 1/2 hour...

    In all my years of teaching, most conferences want to run longer. You need to have your points ready, and have some time for parents to discuss their concerns/wants.

    We post families' last names and their scheduled times on the classroom door, as a gentle last reminder...that there is a schedule.

    I like to review the points we've discussed, and let them know timeframes to get back to them on progress, and how the communication will look( special notes/charts/phone call), to help wrap up.

    As with everything, practice will help you. Remember that communication is ongoing. If you start it early, it won't be so overwhelming in a small appointment.

    Good luck!
  6. mrs.oz

    mrs.oz Companion

    Jul 1, 2006
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    Oct 29, 2006

    Always begin a conference by saying something positive. Usually our conferences are scheduled 15 minutes apart in public school. I usually show the childrens journals and any class work I have for that week.

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