As an educator, it’s an absolute must to meet with your students’ parents throughout the school year. A positive parent-teacher relationship will only guarantee a successful year for students and that’s what we all want the most. Have you thought about how you hold your parent conference? Do you do all the talking behind your teacher table? Teachers tend to do all the talking and parents tend to do all the questioning. Have you considered asking your parents some questions as well?
To ensure a positive parent-teacher relationship, take time to ask your parents questions about their expectations and facts about their child.
Before you even start meeting with parents, first think about the atmosphere of your meeting space. I like to sit next to my parents rather than behind my small group table or desk. It shows that we are equal in the success of their child. Sitting behind a table sends the stigma that the teacher is the boss of the meeting and the parent needs to listen.
Questions to Ask Your Parents
Parents love bragging about their kids! Give them the opportunity to do that!
What are your child’s strengths?
This question may be a given, but it holds a lot of information that will help you throughout the year. Don’t let it go through one ear out the other. Take it seriously and use those strengths to build that student up when they need it the most.
Describe how your child learns best?
We aren’t in the 1950’s classroom where the teacher lectures all day long. Students all learn differently, and to know this answer upfront will be a huge help for you when planning seating charts, small groups, etc.
Is it possible to send work home?
Homework is a touchy subject in the education world. In my honest opinion, sending home practice is both helpful and beneficial. It not only gives students a chance to practice something independently, but it also shows parents what they’re learning. However, not all family dynamics allow for homework at home. Ask this and explain your intention of homework. And remember..homework should only be 10-15 minutes!
What goals do you want to see your child accomplish this year?
This question is good for both parents and teachers. The goals can be simple. Just a few goals that you know this particular child can attain. This is also a great opportunity to bring the student in to discuss goal setting!
How can we work together as a team to help your child?
Parent-teacher collaboration will set any child up for success! Discuss the best way to communicate. Invite your parents to set up a conference any time they have a question or concern. I highly encourage any teacher to reach out to all parents throughout the year with something positive their child has done. Because you know parents automatically think something bad happened when the teacher calls. Break that stigma!
I like to include both parent and student in my parent teacher conference process. Before the appointed time, I send home two forms: Student Reflection and Parent Reflection. I request that those forms be returned before the conference date. This gives me ample time to go over the forms, their answers, and have a plan in place. And the forms pretty much run the conference!
Don’t let the conference season scare you or stress you out. Provide an opportunity for parents to share and speak just as much as you do. .Creating an open relationship with your parents will ensure you have a successful year!
Make sure you store those documents in the right place! There are tons of forms teachers need throughout the year in my Meet the Teacher resource and give those binders a clean, easy to read look with my Binder Covers!
You can grab my Parent Teacher Conference forms for FREE! Just click on the download button below.