Whether your parent-teacher conferences fall within the first few weeks of a brand new school year or halfway through (or both! 🙈), they can cause an insurmountable amount of stress. But they don’t have to! Today I have three quick and easy parent-teacher conference tips to share with you! AND because I love to make your teacher life easier, be sure to grab my FREE forms for parent-teacher conferences at the end of this post!
Tip one: Give parents a chance to send in questions/concerns ahead of time.
If there is ONE tip you take from this post, let it be this one because it was life-changing when I implemented it! I’ll never NOT do this again.
If your school is like mine, you only have a few minutes to spend with each family. And if your conferences go like mine tend to, you either end up with:
1: The parent that has alllll the questions/concerns and you run way over time. Making your whole evening run behind 🙈 #stresslevel100
2: The parent that listens to your schpiel (is that a word??), then looks at you like a deer in the headlights when you ask if they have any questions. They are either embarrassed to ask or don’t think well on the spot (like me).
3: The parent who needs resources/examples handy and you didn’t think to prepare them ahead of time. So you spend the next week gathering and sending the parents alllll the things you promised them at conferences.
To prevent all these, 1-2 weeks before conferences, send home a form that asks parents what they are most interested in discussing and whether they have any specific topics or concerns they would like to discuss during your parent-teacher conference.
This allows you to prepare for each of your parent-teacher conferences efficiently. Pull extra resources, observe certain behaviors, collect data, gather your own thoughts, write down key bullet points you don’t want to forget, etc.! When each conference time arrives, you will be prepared to discuss their concerns/questions first. No one’s time is wasted, and you won’t be scrambling for answers to surprise questions.
Tip two: Prepare a parent teacher conference folder for each student.
Being as organized as possible (my life’s motto 😉) will help keep your parent-teacher conferences running smoothly. Make one folder for each student in your class (I use manilla file folders). For a personal touch, let your students decorate a fun cover to place on the front!
Inside the folder, put all grades, assessments, and other documents you may need to reference. Don’t forget any special requests parents had from the form you sent home last week!
Once parents schedule their conference time and date, place the folders in order of your meetings. That way, you can quickly grab the next folder in the stack in between conferences! This is extra helpful for those back-to-back evenings!
Tip Three: send reminders for Parent-teacher conferences
Staying on schedule is key to a low stress night. Having a parent show up a few minutes late throws off the rhythm of the entire evening, which is stressful. Sending home reminders leading up to your parent-teacher conference day reduces the chance of this happening! Include the student’s name, date, and time of the conference to encourage parents to be on time.
Tip: Print them on brightly colored paper so parents notice them in the chaos that is a student’s backpack. It also helps students be able to help remind when you say “Make sure your grown-up sees the yellow paper tonight!”
Grab these parent-teacher conference freebies!
Using these tips, your parent-teacher conferences will be a breeze this year! No more rushing around to find forms last minute, or worrying about what questions parents will have for you. Things will go smoothly and stay on schedule!
You can get started with these ideas by grabbing my FREE parent-teacher conference pack! Enter your email address below to receive my folder covers, form for parent questions and concerns, and reminder slips delivered straight to your inbox for FREE!