Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent teacher conferences will be held on December 8 and December 14. These conferences signify the end of the first trimester...a milestone in the cycle of the school year with one third of the academic year complete.
The Parent/Teacher conference is a wonderful opportunity to share your insights regarding your child as well as to hear from your child's teacher regarding progress being made, and goals set for the next trimester. This first conference is special in that it might be the first time your child's teacher has heard from you as to how your child's year is going. There is much research regarding parent teacher conferences and they all speak to the fact that a successful one is a conversation between parents and teacher.
Below are a few tips culled from my own experiences as well as from various sources, among them Edutopia, the Harvard Family Research Project and the Parent Institute. They include some ideas specific to our current work with our students on mindset, 21st century skills, and Habits of Mind:
Talk to your child before the conference:
Ask what your child would like you to talk about with the teacher.
Ask what your child thinks the teacher will say at the conference.
Ask what your child likes and does not like about school.
Ask about your child's successes and concerns.
Tell your child you will discuss the conference after it is held.
Prepare some questions in advance:
How is growth mindset encouraged? Ask questions that are focused on process and effort in learning, not only the results
- Does my child participate? How does my child react to making mistakes?
Does she/he take “responsible risks”
-in writing, in friendships, in problem solving, in group work?
What are my child's work habits?
What can I do at home to support the school?
What are growth areas for my child?
What areas are special strengths for my child that can be enriched?
At the Conference:
Listen as the teacher tells the story of your child's learning journey this first trimester.
Share your insights, ask questions
Together look at the evidence of student learning.
Discuss goals for growth.
After the conference, talk with your child and stress the positive things that were shared by the teacher:
Talk about the suggestions made for improvement and create a plan together.
Setting goals and creating a plan to reach them are important skills that we teach our young students. This is a great opportunity to work as a home/school team to achieve these goals.
Best intentions assumed
Emphasis on learning
Examples and evidence
Respect for all
Dedication to follow-up- (From the Harvard Family Research Project)
I look forward to seeing you all during conference time. I will be around and available.