marinarice Oct 9, 2011 2:31 PM (in response to liztrimaloff)
Female teachers should always address the mother or mother-figure first, then the father or father-figure. Welcome the student if they are in attendance. Give a positive comment about the child to the parents, then go over positive outcomes. Once the dialogue has been established through positive conversation, address problem areas in learning, then behavior if necessary.
Involve parents in the conversation, asking questions that require more than yes or no answers when possible. Such questions may include, "How does Johnny spend his time after school?" or "Please share your thoughts on activities that may improve Johnny's math skills?" or "Is there something you feel I could be doing better to help Johnny in math?"
Try to keep to the schedule. Parents schedule appointments to fit into their day. Lateness, when unavoidable, may not be seen as unavoiudable and may put a stopper on an interactive meeting. If a parent has more questions or concerns than time permits, schedule a second appointment for after conference time to sit down without interruption.
Be joyful and show you care. Parents want to know their child is with someone who offers a safe, positive, caring environment for their child. Remember...all parents love their children, regardless of their ability to teach or help them grow into healthy (socially and physicaly) adults.
I hope my comments are helpful! Good Luck! I know you'll love it once you get started!
hlfinholm Oct 13, 2011 12:23 PM (in response to nroque)
I know it's not always possible, with other conferences usually happening at the same time, but I highly recommend trying to get a few teachers that 'share' the student together for one conference with the parent. Two benefits:
1. If the child is struggling,the parent hears it once from the team, rather than several times - which can translate to 'failure' in the parent's view.
2. If the child is succeeding in one room, and not others, it gives the teachers the chance to hear what is working somewhere else - why reinvent the wheel?