So what do we need to do to have successful conferences? Prepare, structure and rehearse and understand parents' expectations.
Remember, parents are often both excited and nervous about coming in for conferences. These kids are their babies, and mama and papa bear are quick to protect. For extra confidence: Write out a script and practice it for any conferences you are nervous about. This ensures you cover what needs to be said, builds trust with parents and ensures you listen more than you talk.
PRO TIP: Keep a To Do list handy during all your conferences. Add items you tell parents you will do, send, follow-up on, etc. so you will remember. The next day, you can either do items or add them to your calendar with a deadline.
Is my child doing well? How does my child compare to others? Do you like my child? Does my child have friends? Are they happy? How is my child's behavior? Am I doing a good job? How can I help my child be successful? Are you trustworthy? Do you know what you are doing?
Think of it this way... Your students' parents have entrusted you with their children. Priceless. (Think- worth more than their bank accounts.) Would they trust you with their ATM card and their pin number? Probably not. And yet, they have allowed you access to their babies.
So, take the time to build trust and reassure parents. That foundation will open your hearts to each other and help your conferences and the year go more smoothly for all of you.
Don't forget to grab your FREE Parent Conference Recording Guide here.
Every teacher wants their students to become committed readers. Here's a simple "how to" cheat sheet you can provide to help PARENTS support their kids in their reading journey. I call it the Sneaky Parent's Guide to Growing Readers because it's filled with loving, savvy tips to make reading feel fun and desirable.