Saturday, October 19, 2013

Parent Teacher Conferences

Hi Everyone! We're officially done with 1/4 of the school year. Here in Hawaii, we have a Fall break and we've just returned back to school this past week for 3 days (with students). I must say, the break was wonderful! I had some time to relax and gain back some of my sanity! My hubby and I were so lucky to win a FREE 2 night stay at a hotel in Waikiki (from a wedding workshop we had attended). 

We had a chance to hit the beach quite a bit, and enjoy lots of yummy cocktails with that beautiful sunset. If you're ever visiting Oahu and need suggestions of places to eat, definitely shoot me an e-mail. I am a foodie at heart and as my mom says, I live to eat! Waikiki has a ton of GREAT Happy Hour Specials running, so we definitely took advantage of that :D 

I decided to take a break from prepping for my parent teacher conferences to write a quick post to share some ideas with you of how I conduct conferences. 

To this day, I still get a little nervous before each conference (some more than others) :P but once I get started, I'm fine. For those of you who are first year teachers, always remember that parents are probably just as nervous or even more nervous that you are to hear what you have to say. I always try to stick to 2 positives for every need area that I share. This helps parents to understand that we are here to help their child, love their child and see good in them; rather than as mean teachers who are picking on their child. 

About a week before conferences, I will send home a questionnaire to parents along with a conference sign up sheet.

This questionnaire helps me to get a better idea of some important points to discuss during conferences. It's also interesting to see what parents see as their child's areas of strengths and needs. 

I also send home a reminder to parents with their conference date and time and staple it to the questionnaire sheet.

This past summer, I used Vistaprint to create business cards that I use as conference reminders. Vistaprint has some great specials that they run quite often, you can score a ton of freebies with some of their promos. Groupon also offers deals on Vistaprint as well. Check out this post for more ideas of how to use Vistaprint in the classroom. 

When you order the business cards you get a box full of cards. I will probably be using these cards for the next couple years (I believe you get 250 cards in one order). 

I also prep for each individual conference by filling out sheets like this for each student. 

I use this sheet as a guide to conduct each conference. I like to pull student work samples that support my strength and needs column. Parents love to see work their child does in school, especially writing and cute projects! It's always important to pull data and student work samples to support anything that you are sharing as a need the child needs to work on. 

By the time I've covered all the major talking points on this sheet, my conference time is usually up. At the end, I like to have parents take the time to write a positive and encouraging note to their child. 

At the ending of conferences, I like to send these out to students :) They love reading their notes from their parents. Many of them will hold on to it for the entire school year! That's pretty impressive considering that some of them manage to conveniently lose their homework and in class assignments all the time.

Some teachers like to give a little THank You gift to parents. Here are some cute ideas found on Pinterest. 

If you can't read the little leaf it says: An Apple for the teacher is really nothing new. Except when you remember Parents are teachers too!

This one cracked me up! Some of these pins were uploaded by a user, so I just linked back to the original pin I found this image from :) Click each picture to go back to the link. 

Thanks for stopping by! If you're interested in any of the forms that I use for conferences, check out my Parent Teacher Conference Pack in my TPT Store. I'll have it on Sale until the 31st, when my PT Conferences end :) 

Good luck with conferences!