Edutopia contributor Matt Davis has collected and shares some of the best resources for parents, teachers and students to prepare for the first face-to-face meeting of the school year.
We’ve all been there; that awkward moment when parents and teachers meet for the first time to discuss the progress of their children. How can you prepare, what should you say and what’s the best course of action if there’s a problem?
From ideas for highlighting student progress, to questions every parent should ask, these are some of our favorite articles and resources that cover parent-teacher conferencing. Enjoy the rest of the school year!
- Parent-Teacher Conference Tip Sheets for Principals, Teachers, and Parents: The Harvard Family Research Project produced these tip sheets with English and Spanish versions. Each sheet has sections written specifically for parents, teachers, and principals, and is available as a free PDF download. Two other insightful resources from the Family Research Project are Academic Parent-Teacher Teams: Reorganizing Parent-Teacher Conferences Around Data and Reimagining the Parent-Teacher Conference.
- Guide to Parent-Teacher Conferences From Scholastic: This collection of resources for educators focuses on measuring student progress and conducting meaningful conferences with parents. Scholastic also features a great parent-specific resource, Make the Most of Your Teacher Conference, which offers ideas for what to do before, during, and after conferences.
- Parent-Teacher Conference Resources From Reading Rockets: This Reading Rockets article highlights literacy questions parents should ask, from suggestions for getting students reading at home to understanding your student’s reading level. There are also some great links to other Reading Rockets resources, including PTC tips for parents of English-language learners on sister site ¡Colorín Colorado!
- TeacherVision’s Parent-Teacher Conference Resources: TeacherVision hosts a wealth of resources for parent-teacher conferences. There are conference forms, curated resources for getting parents involved, and a list of some of the best articles on parent-teacher conferences. One favorite is Parent-Teacher Conferences: Before, During, and After. Another great round-up to check out is the National Education Association’s Parent-Teacher Conference page, which features practical articles and tips for parents and teachers.
- New Teacher Survival Guide Video: The Parent-Teacher Conference: This Teaching Channel video offers preparation ideas, a first-hand look at conducting a conference, and some great tips and strategies from parent-relationship expert Diane Feinstein. There are plenty of interesting tidbits packed into this ten-minute video, making it a perfect resource for educators of any experience level. Teaching Channel’s blog post, Beyond Parent-Teacher Conferences: Building Connections That Last, by Lily Jones, also provides useful advice for using conferences to springboard into continued dialogues with parents.
Inviting Students to Lead Conferences
Student-led conferences empower learners to take ownership of their accomplishments and their classroom goals. Yet, for many teachers, it can be a challenge figuring out how to best facilitate them. In 2015, Edutopia examined how one school in Chicago uses student-led conferences to create opportunities for reflection, engagement, and agency.
You’ll find some wonderful resources in that collection. Here are a few more ideas, guides, and tips for letting students take the lead during parent-teacher conferences:
- Student-Led Conferences: Resources for Educators via Edutopia
- Best Practices for Student-Led Conferences via Edmentum
- The Student-Led Parent-Teacher Conference via Shmoop
- When Students Lead Parent-Teacher Conferences via ASCD’s Educational Leadership
- A Step-by-Step Plan for Student-Led Conferences at the Elementary Level via Teaching Channel
Parent-Teacher Conference Reading List
- 5 Parent-Teacher Conference Prep Tips via Edutopia
- 5 Tips for Parent-teacher Conference Success via NEA Member Benefits
- Making the Most of Your Parent-Teacher Conference via GreatSchools
- Parent-Teacher Conferences: Parents’ How-To Guide via Public School Review
- Tips for Parent-Teacher Conferencing via Edutopia
- Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences via ASCD
- How To Make The Most Of Your 10 Minutes With Teacher via NPR
The article can be found here.