Parent-teacher conferences are a part of a good educational curriculum. It is the best opportunity to share the strengths and challenges of children between their parents and the teachers.
Therefore, both parents and the teachers play active roles in this. As a teacher, you should have a clear idea about what to say at parent teacher conferences.
Accordingly, I will discuss all the related information you should know about what to say at parent teacher conferences and the importance of having parent-teacher conferences, the do’s and don’ts of a parent-teacher conference. Finally, I have come out with practical examples.
This will be a comprehensive post that covers all the relevant information. Therefore, I have listed the topics I discuss below. Please, feel free to jump straight to the section you want by clicking on the topic.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Importance of having parent-teacher conferences
Parent-teacher conferences are brief meetings that last for about 10-30 minutes. Usually, they are held once or twice a year after term tests as progress reporting meetings.
They have to be scheduled before one or two months as you have to consider many issues when conducting a parent-teacher conference.
And there will be teachers of the staff who support the studies of the children, parents or guardians, and some teachers ask students also to attend a part of the meeting.
The main focus of a parent teacher conference has to be learning. At the same time, it is significant to focus on the behaviors and social development of the children as they affect the whole learning process of the children.
Also, it should include; standard of the test results, motivational and working habits, peer relationships, behaviors in the classroom, as well as the strengths and challenges of the children.
The effective parent teacher conference becomes an additional quality of your school curriculum. It increases the involvement of parents in classroom activities through the cooperative exchange of ideas. It helps to get positive outcomes for children as well as the school.
Accordingly, the parent-teacher conference is the best opportunity for;
- Sharing educational improvement and the development of students based on assessments, portfolios, testing data, assignments, and classroom observations.
- Informing the teacher about educational styles, needs, strengths, and behaviors of children by the parents.
- Discussing the enrichment or interference strategies to help students for learning.
- Discussing studying and development issues of children and the way that both teachers and parents can involve for the improvement of them.
The do’s and don’ts of parent-teacher conferences
To get the full results of the conference, both parents and the teachers have to know about the dos and don’ts of a parent-teacher conference. Accordingly, there are many things as follows;
Open the conference with a positive note
At the beginning of the conference, recall the parents that the conference aims to share the academic improvement and the development of children as well as their interaction in the school environment.
Also, inform parents about the strengths and challenges of children but always start with positive things. As they are nervous at the beginning of the meeting, you have to reduce it by expressing the positive things about their children to have a nice flow.
Discussing the improvement of children
The teachers should inform parents about the levels of abilities of children and the grades scored by them in various subject areas using the results of the tests or demonstrations of their works.
And you should convey that you are discussing their assignment levels and not their standard in the class. So, limit your conversation only to studies and the ways of supporting the students.
Construct a plan and be organized
A pre-conference form should be filled for every student and keep space to take notes of the important topics for the students. And give a nice flow to the meeting which will flourish the confidence of parents about your capabilities to help their children.
There you can give suggestions about the strategies and activities that help the learning process of children.
Avoiding teacher- talk
The teacher should give their full cooperation for the conference. They should avoid engaging in extra talks with other teachers during the conference.
Do not voice negatives in public
This is common to both parents and teachers. They should not express the negative behaviors of children, and education, because they have unique capabilities of their own.
Do not create arguments
Here, both teachers and parents have the responsibility to respect the discipline of the conference. And if the teacher feels that the conference becomes too heated, it’s better to conclude the meeting or leave the argumentative subject and move to another.
Do not forget that this is teamwork
The teacher should not hesitate to ask what you don’t know about the child from their parents. As you are only the teacher of the child, you may know only a few things about him. But the parents know all about them.
So, don’t hesitate to ask what you don’t know, and if they struggle with the same issue, think of this as teamwork and decide what to do together.
What to say at parent teacher conferences to satisfy?
The teacher has the greatest responsibility in a parent-teacher conference. You should be capable enough to cover all the areas that parents want to know about their child, like; whether you know their child, you like their child, whether their child has friends, and whether he is learning.
You should talk about all these things satisfactorily without hurting them. Accordingly, you should,
Show the parents that you know their child
When you plan what to say at the parent teacher conference, show the parents that you know their child individually. The best way to help them is, sharing an anecdote with them.
There you can say how their child helped you and classmates etc. This is the main thing parents want to know at first.
Talking about the social and emotional development of the child
Here, you should talk about the adjustment of the child to school. Simply, how their child fits the class.
Share the social and emotional growth that has been increased with time by highlighting their improvements like; straightforwardness, the willingness to work, etc.
Tell the parents about the academic growth of the child
You may use examples of works done by the student whenever you can use them. Start this by sharing samples of drawings, writings, or portraits. And describe to the parents how those skills of the child have been developed with time.
Keep the positive note from the beginning until the end of the meeting
Start the conference with positive things about the child. And remember that the parents are nervous at the beginning of the conference. You have to remove it through your positive words on children. Continue it by describing what the child does best in the class and how they have been improved.
Also, explain your future academic goals to the children, and it will convey to them that you are a well-organized teacher who can have a responsibility for their child. So they will be satisfied in the end.
What should not say in parent-teacher conferences?
When conducting a parent-teacher conference, you should be concerned about what you should not say in an apparent teacher conference. Accordingly, there are some common and important issues as follows;
Don’t discuss bad behaviors or more sensitive issues in front of the child
This should be handled carefully. It is better to talk about over-sensitive and unsuitable behaviors of children in the absence of children because it would harm their personality.
And sometimes the parents who are uncontrolled of themselves will punish them on the spot. So, it is harmful to talk about those issues in front of children.
Do not be so hard when discussing serious issues
You have to always talk with the parents by decorating your face with a smile because they are already embarrassed. It will be helpful to convey even very serious issues in a simple way to the parents.
Do not continuously complain
Here, the teachers should concentrate on her words, facial and body language when expressing something challenging about the child to their parents.
Although you are struggling hard with their child, you should not tell it as a complaint. Especially do not criticize the child as impolite.
Do not discuss useless things
Once you finish the conversation, avoid discussing other unrelated topics with your parents. Only thank them with a smile and keep your limits as the teacher of the child.
Accordingly, there are many things to be taken into consideration when you are conducting a parent-teacher conference.
What to say at parent teacher conferences examples?
Here, I will provide you with some examples of what to say at parent teacher conferences for you to understand it well.
- Show the parents that you know their child.
This is the major thing that parents wish to know about their children. You can express it like this;
“It is a pleasure to have Briana in my class because; she is kind to all and has many friends. There is a very shy girl with us, and Briana always goes to her and invites her to play. When doing pair work, Briana always selects her as the partner. I highly appreciate this kind attitude towards others, and I have understood that she is a kind-hearted girl.”
- Talk about the social and emotional improvement of children
Here you have to focus on showing how the child has socially and emotionally developed with the time. You may share it like this;
“Max wasn’t happy when things were not going his way and tended to hurt his friends. If you can remember, we talked about this in our previous meetings. I am very thankful to you for discussing this matter with him at home and telling him stories about friendships. Also, I helped him at school to practice expressing his feelings in words; we practiced it through acting during free time. Since the last couple of weeks, I have noticed that he has changed a lot and always uses kind words and he is in a position where he can control his emotions. This can be highlighted as a big improvement within a short time. I am very happy for him.”
- Talking about the academic growth
Academic growth is the major expectation of parents on their children. Accordingly, you may voice about it like this;
“Mleesha’s writing skills have developed so much. At the beginning of the school year, she could only write her name and the word “I” to start a sentence. But now, she has improved a lot, and she could write the starting and ending sounds of most words.
Also, she knows all the upper and lowers cases, and when I ask her to write the word by showing a picture card, she tries her best to write the word correctly. This is a big improvement. Although she needs to practice more, let’s take this as a good start and encourage her more to build her self-confidence.”
Conclusion- What to say at parent teacher conferences?
We have discussed what to say at parent teacher conferences with more details and practical examples. I think this article effectively works out for teachers when conducting parent-teacher conferences. Further, this will help parents to understand what you should expect in a parent teacher meeting.
Parent teacher conferences are held once or twice a year to discuss the academic, social, and emotional development of children. There are many things to be taken into consideration by both parents and teachers to conduct a meeting effectively.
The things they should do and should not do and what they should say and should not say have to be given greater significance to be held at a conference successfully.
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