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Parent-Teacher Conference: The Importance of Meetings

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    It is extremely important to have good working relationships between parents and teachers. A parent-teacher conference was a short meeting or conference between the parents and teachers of students to discuss children’s progress at school and find solutions to academic or behavioral problems. As a teacher of Sunbeam Christian School of Panabo I have conducted this kind of conference with the guardian of Joshua Miguel D. Ramirez and Christine S. Barnayja.

    Parent-teacher conferences supplement the information conveyed by report cards by focusing on students’ specific strengths and weaknesses in individual subjects and generalizing the level of inter-curricular skills and competences. Joshua Miguel D. Ramirez was one of the honor pupils in my class, but I observed during the 3rd Grading Period he got lower grades in his exam than the usual, that was the reason I call the attention of his guidance for him to be guided for the next examination.

    Christine S. Barnayja, This conference plays a big role to us teachers and to our stakeholder, the parent, not just for simply informs the progress of their child but also the good relationship that we can build towards the parent. A parent-teacher conference is a short meeting or conference between the parents and teachers of students to discuss children’s progress at school and find solutions to academic or behavioral problems.

    Parent-teacher conferences supplement the information conveyed by report cards by focusing on students’ specific strengths and weaknesses in individual subjects and generalizing the level of inter-curricular skills and competences. Most conferences take place without the presence of the students whose progress is being discussed, although there is evidence that their inclusion increases the productivity of the meetings.

    The meetings are generally led by teachers who take a more active role in information sharing, with parents relegated mostly to the role of listeners.  A parent-teacher interview (also a parent-teacher conference and parents’ evenings in the UK) is a once per term, short conference between are a tradition in Western school systems (notably Australia, Canada, the UK (where they’re known as parents’ evenings) and the United States). A video example can be seen here. In the United States, many elementary schools will shorten the school day by 2–3 hours (often for an entire week) in mid fall to allow extra time for teachers to give these conferences students’ parents and teachers.

    The interview is a chance for parents to meet their child’s teachers and review any issues or concerns the parents or teachers may have with child/student’s performance. These interviews are usually between five to fifteen minutes long. Parent-teacher interviews. It is extremely important to have good working relationships between parents and teachers. A parent is really the child’s first teacher and critical to student success is the involvement of the parent.

    It is critical that both parent and teacher know that the goals for the child are indeed shared goals, both teacher and parent want what is best for the child/student. Parents of struggling students are already overwhelmed and often have unpleasant experiences with the parent/teacher conference. It is extremely important to keep the doors open and welcome parents to share in the educational goals of the student. How can you ensure that you have a productive Parent Teacher Meeting/Conference? Follow these tips: Give your parents plenty of notice about the upcoming conference.

    Provide them with a few things they could discuss at the interview – for instance, tell them you would like to know about the child’s likes and dislikes, how homework is handled at home and what their attitudes towards school or specific subjects is like. Remember, many of your students come from a single parent home, you’ll need to see if they would like to meet together for the interview or have separate interviews. When greeting parents at the interview, be sure to start on a positive note. Smile, thank them for coming and begin with some positive remarks about their child.

    Identify a strength and ask the parent to embelish upon one also. Discuss your routines, rules and homework policies with parents. Ask if they have any questions. Discuss the child’s preferred learning activities and discuss your areas of concern. Be sure to let the parents know how the areas of concern can be addressed. For instance, if the child is quite weak in reading, find out how the parents can help and list some preferred activities when assisting with reading. If you have behavior difficulties, prioritize 1 or 2 behaviors to focus on and only work toward strategies for those (at this time).

    If you’re using a behavior contract or management plan, be sure that the parents are on board. If you have any reading material that may help the parent understand the nature of the child’s difficulty, be prepared to share it with the parents. Always, remind the parent that your goals are shared, you both wants what’s best. Conclude your meeting with a sincere thank you, remind parents that they have taken a keen interest in their child’s education and that the door is always open. Remind them that it’s their positive attitude toward learning that will help their child grow both academically and socially.

    Provide a time frame for a follow up visit or telephone call. Agree to send home notes that recognizing something positive as well as newsletters to keep parents in the loop. See also Resolving Conflict Effectively If the thought of holding a Parent Teacher Conference for your preschool isn’t already making you nervous, it should be! It can be nerve-wracking to think of sitting down with a parent you barely know to try to share their child’s progress over the first few months of school.

    Oftentimes you feel that you’re just starting to get to know the preschooler, so how can you feel confident that you’ll be able to have a great Parent Teacher Conference with their parents if you’re stumped at what to say? Thankfully, our preschool teachers have been holding Parent Teacher Conferences for years, and have quite a few tips for you preschool teachers out there! The Fall Parent Teacher Conference shouldn’t be heavily weighted on teacher discussion, or child progress for that matter.

    With them just beginning school, you’re really not charting a lot of progress; you’re actually assessing them to see where they’re at coming into your preschool. So the Fall conference should be heavily weighted on parent discussion. Don’t try to teach on the day you do conferences. By the time you finish teaching, you’ll be pretty burned out anyways. Instead, cancel class that one day, schedule all the conferences at 15 minute intervals, and then let your parents know which time they’re coming in. If you have multiple children in a class or different classes, be sure to coordinate schedules with the other teachers as well if needed.

    After signing up parents for specific times, I always like to send them home with a paper that informs them what to expect during the conference, and how to prepare for it. Basically, it asks them to think of the answers to these 3 questions below so we can work together to help their child have a great preschool year. The questions are: What are some of your child’s strengths? What are some of your goals for your child in preschool this year? This is an excellent time to find out what the parents expect from you as a teacher. Do they want their child to read? Do they expect their child to tie their own shoes? Whenever a goal comes up that you’re not exactly comfortable with doing in preschool (i. e. heavily teaching reading) then use the Parent Teacher Conference time as an education time to help your parents know what you do at preschool, and how to meet possible other goals they have.

    You can have parent education handouts on various topics ready for any parent who wants them. What are some things you would like us to work on at preschool? This reminds parents that you’re on their side, working hand-in-hand with them. It also goes vice-versa where if you have anything you’d like the child to work on at home, this would also be an excellent time to say that. Then, once you’re holding the Parent Teacher Conference at preschool, here’s another great tip: place your chair facing the door or clock so you can keep an eye on the time, as well as welcome any parents coming in for the next meeting.

    Be sure to ask all your parents to be on time, and that you only have 15 minutes with them, and then your transitions should flow really well. Once a new parent comes into the room, the existing parent generally feels like their time is done so they head out. Of course, if you need to continue a conversation, be sure to let them know they can continue it via email or phone later on.

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