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Top Tips for Parent Teacher Conferences


Love them of hate them, they are here!  It is time for parent teacher conferences. Conferences can be stressful but I actually enjoy them. Teaching is all about building relationships - with students and their families. I approach conferences as another way to deepen our relationship.
We have two conferences a year; one the first week of November and the other at the end of February.  This first conference is especially important in building trust and mutual respect.  We need parents to know that we love their children but also balance telling them about their child in the classroom.  Going over strengths is always easy, it’s when we have to tell them areas that need growth.  We need to balance being sensitive while being honest.





I have learned a few things after over two decades of conferences. I can promise you that these tips will make conferences just a bit easier!




Learn about Parent Concerns BEFORE Conferences
Nothing could be worse than a parent surprising you with a concern that you aren't prepared to talk about or hadn't a clue about. I like to send a note home {like the one provided in the freebie below} or an email, asking parents what they would like to discuss at conferences. This way I am prepared for the conference and have time to think about what I want to say.





Prepare beforehand
If you take the time to prepare beforehand, conferences will go so much smoother. Preparation is key!  I organize all of my students work in a hanging file folder and have it ready to go for conferences.  Students are all so different and so should what you say to parents. Take time to really think about each child behaviorally, academically, and socially to determine would benefit them the most.
Here is my hanging folder crate that I keep behind my teacher table.
Each child has a file folder with work samples from all subjects in it.


Assessments for the year are kept in the file folder.


Writing samples are kept in the folder.

Choose from all of the writing samples collected to show the growth that student has made. I keep mine in chronological order.




Good with the Bad
It’s so important for parents to realize that you love their child and you appreciate having them in your classroom. Parents send us their best.  We need to remember that when conferring with them.

Consider having students self-assess themselves and share that with parents.  It could support what you have to say to parents.


student self assessment

These self-assessments are included in the freebie below.


Have parent resources ready
If you tell a parent their child needs help with something, be prepared to give them the resources to do so. Be sure to tell them what you are going to do in the classroom as well as what would be most beneficial for them to do at home.





Use technology
Don’t send home papers for conference sign up.  You don’t have time for that.  Use Sign UpGenius.  It is FREE and super easy to use.  First, choose a photo, or upload your own.  Create a custom schedule.  You can set up days and times that you have available for conferences. You send the link to parents or yourself if you have all the emails in a group on your school mail. and they choose a time and sign up. It even sends them a reminder email the day before {or two} you choose. I HIGHLY recommend giving it a try!





Like the forms you see in this post?  Get the FREE editable forms here.  Be sure to subscribe to my blog to get regular freebies and tips!  I send them out once or twice a month and there are always valuable resources included!
If you are looking for more forms that are editable, check out my Deluxe Parent/Teacher Conference Forms.

Have the best conferences ever -- and do not forget to build relationships!

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