• It’s Parent-Teacher Conference Time in Florence in Florence 1 Schools

    Regular parent-teacher conferences for all families are an essential building block of home-school communication.  These meetings are opportunities for your school to establish a reputation of caring for both the students and their parents.  Conferences are a time for both listening and sharing; they can also reinforce the idea of working as a team.
    The following are tips to help teachers better plan their parent conferences:

    • Subject Areas and Topics - Write down the topics you intend to cover.
    • Major Objectives - What do you hope to accomplish? What do you need to communicate? What do you want to communicate?
    • Conference Plan - What steps can you follow during the conference to ensure that you meet your major objectives?  What questions will you ask?  What points will you make?  What suggestions will you offer?  Will you allow time for parents to ask questions and make comments?
    • Materials - What materials should be shared with parents?  Are they organized to complement your conference plan?
    • Action Plan - Try to end the conference with a plan for action.  Will you recommend any specific steps?  Do you have suggestions on ways parents can work with you?
    • Review - Summarize what has been said during the conference.  (Repeat key points.)  End with a friendly thank you to the parents.  Tell them it’s nice to work with parents interested and involved in their child’s education.
    • Evaluation - After the conference, ask yourself:
      • Was I prepared? Did I use the time well?
      • Did I have an informal setting and ensure privacy?
      • Did I begin on a positive note? Did I encourage parents to talk and offer suggestions?
      • Did I listen attentively? Did I plan with the parents?
      • Did I learn anything new to help me teach the child?

    Next time, what would I do differently?

    Other Tips:

    • Impressions count. Be aware of parents’ first impressions.
    • Timing is an important consideration.  With more and more parents working, many may have difficulty attending conferences during the specified time. Consider scheduling some conferences at time that is convenient for both parent and teacher. 

    Source: Practical PR for Principals: A Handbook to Help You Build Support for Your School, an NSPRA publication.