This parent teacher conference form has taken the stress out of conference season. I used to dread preparing for over thirty parent meetings. In my first job, I just joined the conference that was scheduled by the classroom teacher. Since I was working with five grade levels, I had to connect with 15 different teachers to figure out when all the conferences were scheduled. I was always double booked and always stressed because these meetings felt like mini-IEP meetings.
Once I discovered the Glow and Grow method, my meetings became simple. Parent teacher conferences are NOT IEP meetings. You should not have to spend hours upon hours preparing for them! Let me share a few easy parent teacher conference tips to save you time and stress.
In this post, we will talk about:
- What I bring to a parent teacher conference
- How to use a parent teacher conference form
- Why using this parent teacher conference form will save you time and stress
What I bring to a parent teacher conference
Did you know that we have these children 33 hours per week? That is 1,206 hours over the course of a school year. That is a lot of time. At conferences, parents want a glimpse into how things are going at school. What is their child like for you? How do they interact with their friends? What are they struggling with? How can the parents support your work in the classroom?
So, what do you show parents at conferences? I have worked with teachers who collect ten different work samples and hold every test so that they can go over each item with the parents. You go girl! But to me, that sounds like a lot of time and hard work. Instead, I try to just have a sample from each content area. This year, I showed parents a recent fluency practice sheet, a sample of journal writing, and their latest math computation probe. Ideally, you should know your students well enough to be able to talk about their specific strengths and needs.
I also like to have resources prepared in case the parent wants to practice at home. For example, I will prep sight word flashcards for the student’s IEP goal. Then, I will separate the cards into known and unknown piles for the parents. I encourage parents to practice the known pile each day and work on one unknown word per week. Parents have really appreciated this extra step as it helps them to see the progress their child is making.
How to use the parent teacher conference form
What do you talk about at parent teacher conferences? Now that you have your work samples collected, you can use those to guide your conversations. You can also use this parent teacher conference form to make sure you are addressing the strengths of the student before just discussing the needs.
Conferences can be stressful for both teachers and parents! Parents worry about what they are going to hear. No parent wants to hear all the ways their child is struggling. Even though all students have some areas that need improvement, they also have so many strengths! We need to be sure to address both areas with parents.
Have you heard of glow and grow? It is a simple way of presenting strengths and needs. Using this parent teacher conference form, I start by outlining three glow areas or three strengths. I purposely do more strengths than needs. This starts the conversation with all the things that the student does well. Starting the conversation positively can put everyone at ease. I also find this to be a helpful practice with a student that I am struggling with. You know that one student that is just really getting under your skin? Making yourself list three strengths can be challenging but is a good practice!
When sharing with parents, I try to focus on just one area of need, if possible and appropriate. I know this won’t work for all situations, but for most students, just one need should be enough. How do I decide which need area to share? I think about which need the parents can help support. Is there a specific academic area that the student could easily practice at home as well? Is there an area of behavior that the parent should be checking in with at home? Try to just focus on one area!
***Disclaimer: I am not recommending hiding things from parents. If the student is struggling in multiple areas, don’t keep that from parents. However, I am recommending that you shouldn’t be waiting until a third of the way through the school year to share all the concerns with parents.
Saving time and stress during parent teacher conferences
Why even use this form? I know what you may be thinking. I have so many conferences to prepare for, I don’t have time to think of three strengths and a need for each student! Let’s pause for a second. This may be the only time that you meet individually with these parents. They deserve your full attention for that 15-20 minutes. Their child is their whole world. You get to spend 30 hours a week with their whole world. Take the time to prepare carefully for that conversation.
Another reason that this form will save you time and stress is that you will know exactly what to talk about during each conference. Doing meetings back to back all day or night long can be overwhelming! It can be hard to keep your head on straight! Having an easy outline already prepared for each student will make it easy to switch mindsets over and over. It also provides an adorable visual for parents to take from your conference.
What are you waiting for? Go grab this parent teacher conference form now and start prepping for those meetings! Do you want to change the sections? No worries! Each section is editable! Change it to fit your needs!
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