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Teacher-Parent Conferences. Valuable Strategy for Improving Academic Success Norman Public Schools October 2, 2008 . Four Things Every Parent Wants Enlist Parents as Partners. School is a safe and supportive environment. A sense of expectation for their student

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teacher parent conferences

Teacher-Parent Conferences

Valuable Strategy for Improving Academic Success

Norman Public Schools

October 2, 2008

four things every parent wants enlist parents as partners
Four Things Every Parent WantsEnlist Parents as Partners
  • School is a safe and supportive environment.
  • A sense of expectation for their student
  • Open communication between school and home
  • Academic success for their student, no matter what the challenges may be
build a collaborative rather than an adversarial system
Build a collaborative, rather than an adversarial system
  • What do you want to accomplish regarding this student?
  • What do you want to share with the parent?
  • What would help this student have success in your class?
slide4
Don’t make it too formal

Monitor your own discomfort level

Be mindful of “professional jargon”

Remember not all parents had positive experiences when they were in school.

Parents need to know you are an advocate for their child. They will be more willing to hear what you have to say.

The teacher bears the responsibility of developing a positive relationship with parents to achieve the goal of successful education. Rosenthal

the more the teacher is prepared the smoother the conference first impressions count
Check the parent’s name to save embarrassment.

Create a comfortable atmosphere, do not sit behind the desk.

Sit where you are aware of the time, stay on schedule

Schedule another conference ,if there is a more involved situation

Be able you to explain your goals for the class

Have the student/parent policy book handy for reference

Be preparing is your greatest tool. Student portfolio, student records, report cards, your school’s calendar/events

The more the teacher is prepared, the smoother the conference. First Impressions Count !
know your resources
Know Your Resources
  • Be prepared for questions or statements like:

How do I help my child do homework?

How do I contact the counselor?

My child is bored in your class.

My child is having a difficult time learning.

How can I volunteer at school ?

when those conversations become difficult
When those conversations become difficult……..
  • Be compassionate and listen
  • If a family crisis is overwhelming, share with the parent that you are concerned about their well-being. Gently suggest that they contact the principal or counselor. They will need more resources than time allows for the teacher. This also helps the parent from becoming embarrassed if they shared too much information.
remember ferpa
Remember FERPA
  • Do not discuss another student if parents ask for information
  • The only grades/test scores to be shared are with their own student.
  • Only talk about discipline issues regarding their student if that is a topic
philosophy of student led conferences
PHILOSOPHYof Student Led Conferences

Student led conferences reflect the belief that students should actively involved in their learning and assume responsibility for the learning process. Through student led conference, students become more motivated, reflective and evaluative. They also become more critical in their approach to learning.

purpose
PURPOSE
  • Students accept responsibility for learning and become more aware of the learning process.
  • They report academic growth to parents and progress toward becoming life long learners.
nuts and bolts
NUTS AND BOLTS

Before the Conference

  • Begin the year with a student goal setting conference.
  • Prepare samples of students’ work to show evidence of growth and goal progress (portfolio).
  • Notify parents well in advance of the conferences.
  • Provide opportunities for students to practice
nuts and bolts1
NUTS AND BOLTS

Before the Conference

  • Begin the year with a student goal setting conference.
  • Student Interest Inventory/Student Attitude Inventory
  • Reflection of work
nuts and bolts2
NUTS AND BOLTS

Before the Conference

Design a plan of action

      • Student responsibilities
      • Teacher responsibilities
      • Parent responsibilities
  • Decide on evidence to be included in portfolio what shows progress toward achieving the goals
  • Prepare samples of students’ work to show evidence of growth and goal progress (portfolio).
nuts and bolts3
NUTS AND BOLTS

Before the Conference

Notify parents well in advance of the conference.

  • Send home a letter explaining the conference format and why it is being used…
      • Why are you having student led conferences?
      • How will the conferences be different?
      • If necessary, when can parents talk to you without the student?
      • When and where will the conference be held?
nuts and bolts4
NUTS AND BOLTS

Before the Conference

Provide opportunities for students to practice.

    • Model the process
      • Teacher to teacher
      • Teacher to teacher assistant
  • With students, develop a checklist describing student role
  • Organize student to student practice sessions
nuts and bolts5
NUTS AND BOLTS

After the Conference

  • Student sends thank you letter to parent
  • Student completes reflection survey
  • Parent questionnaire/evaluation/homework
nuts and bolts6
NUTS AND BOLTS

After the Conference

Student Reflection Survey

  • What did you like about the student led conference?
  • How did you feel during the conference?
  • What didn’t you like about the conference?
  • If you could change the conference to make it better, what would you do?
keys to success
KEYS TO SUCCESS
  • Students and teachers willing to take risks
  • Teachers willing to step aside
  • Focusing in on student achievement-power standards and their accomplishment
  • Committing time to…
      • Learning
      • Preparing
      • Practicing
challenges
CHALLENGES
  • First time jitters
  • Uncertainty of sharing control with students
  • Need to adopt a student-centered philosophy
  • Organizing the logistics of conferences
  • Responding to families who don’t participate
  • Vision of the student for their academics and their future
  • Schedule separate time if teacher concerns need to be shared.
summary
SUMMARY

Student benefits:

  • Accountability for their learning
  • Students learn to evaluate their own progress
  • Students gain greater commitment to school work and learning
  • Builds self confidence and self-esteem
  • Encourages student/parent communication
  • Builds communication and critical thinking skills
  • Places responsibility on the student and parent
  • Allows students to become involved
  • Puts students in charge of their learning
  • Time allowed to share and celebrate in learning environment
summary1
SUMMARY

Parent benefits:

  • Increases the amount of information given to a parent
  • Learn more about their child’s learning and skills
  • An opportunity to help their child set positive goals
  • Active participant in their child’s learning
  • First language communication
  • Eliminates standing in line for a conference
  • Allows for more time in their child’s learning environment to see what the child has worked on over a period of time
  • First hand opportunity to see their child in charge of the learning process
summary2
SUMMARY

Teacher benefits:

  • Less stress (not less work) on teachers, very relaxed atmosphere
  • Less confrontational (more positive)
  • Places responsibility on the student and parent
  • Increased parent participation
  • An opportunity to see students in a leadership role