As an educator, you know that parent-teacher conferences are an essential part of your students' academic life. Whether you teach preschoolers or an older age group, these conferences are an excellent way to connect with your students' families and deliver positive outcomes for your classroom environment.
They allow you to show the parents how well their children are progressing, along with learn from the parents about how you can better interact with their children based on their needs, strengths, learning styles, and cultural background. Use these meetings to discuss strategies to better support your students' learning and mitigate any risks of situations interfering with that development. To make the most of the time you have, here are a couple ways you can run your parent-teacher conferences like a rock star:
Create a welcoming environment
Your students come from a diverse set of backgrounds, so make sure that you are prepared to accommodate for various language or cultural barriers that could get in the way. For example, if you have students in your classroom whose parents only speak their native tongue, you can enlist the help of a school translator to mediate the discussion. You can also translate any necessary materials into their language to make it easier for them to feel connected to their child's classroom and academic career.
Remember to 'be heard'
The main principles that create an effective parent-teacher conference setting can be summed up in the acronym: be heard. The Harvard Family Research Project writes that these seven foundational steps teachers must adhere to are: Best intentions assumed, Emphasis on learning, Home-school collaboration, Examples and evidence, Active listening, Respect for all, and Dedication to follow-up. By following each of these suggestions, teachers can make the most of the time they have and completely rock each conference.
At ProSolutions Training we offer numerous online child care training courses, such as "Parent-Teacher Conferences," for interested professionals. Contact us today to learn more!