Parent-Teacher Conferences

Teaching Idea

"Be Organized Early On"
David Leckrone, Fourth Grade Teacher

"When we scheduled conferences, we sent a note home asking parents to tell us what they wanted to find out at the conference. For example: trouble with homework, social issues, note taking, test taking, making friends. We were then prepared to address parent concerns without being blind sided."

Teaching Idea

"Before and During the Conference"
Paul, Intermediate Grade Teacher: Miami, Florida

"Arrange for comfortable seating, with good lighting and ventilation. Organize samples of the students' work and test results so that they are easily accessible and will complement the conference plan. Write down the topics you will discuss. While families are waiting to see you, give them folders of their children's work. Also, give them a newsletter with class poems, or students' works, and highlights of current events, etc. It makes waiting easier."

Teaching Idea

"Follow-up to Conferences"
Colleen, Middle School Teacher: Austin, TX

"If possible, after a family conference, follow-up with a phone call, written note, or email. The communication could thank the family for attending the conference, ask if the family has begun to follow-up on any recommendations made, extend an open invitation to call the teacher with any questions that may have arisen after the conference, or to simply keep in touch. If you have a large class or too many students to use this method with, you can then just contact the families who you sensed might have had some conflicts or who were uneasy during the conference, or whose children may need specific follow-up."

Teaching Idea

"Student-led Conferences"
Judy, Middle School Teacher

"The best thing I've seen in conferences was when the school I teach at went to Student-led Conferences! Each student leads their own conference with their parents, explaining grades, achievement as compared to goals written earlier. The students have prepared for the conferences and the parents have been given questions to ask relating to assignments from the term. I don't know who came up with the idea, but EVERY student has a conference and takes ownership of his/her education! Teachers are available if there are questions, grade sheets from each subject are at hand, and the child has to answer for his/her progress. If there is a need for all teachers to be there, conferences can be scheduled on an individual basis."

Teaching Idea

"Be Flexible!!!"
Lynn, Primary Grade Teacher: Osh Kosh, Wisconsin

"Schedule parent and teacher conferences at the convenience of both parties, either after school or in the evening. Sometimes a visit to the home of your student may be the only way to visit with a family and have contact. Depending where you are and the feasibility of this option can some times make a difference in whether you ever get to meet the families of the students you teach."

Next 5 Parent Teacher Conference Ideas