Preparing for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Well, it is that time of year again. I was lucky. Conferences were always on or near my birthday in the fall and on or near my anniversary in the spring. How lucky can you get?  In thinking of the time-honored event, I put together some thoughts, ideas, and suggestions to help make conference time easier, conferences run more smoothly, and (hopefully) reduce your stress before, during, and after. The following is the opening page of my newest resource at TpT (and Teacher's Notebook and Teachwise).  I priced it at $1.50 and included printables for conference invitations, thank you notes, areas of opportunity forms, parent contact forms, and more. 15 printables in all, for spring and fall.   Check out  the gif on my Teacher Stuff pinterest page to see more pages. Have a great fall week-end! Find this product and more at Chocolate 4 Teachers!

               Sanely Surviving Parent Teacher Conferences!
No one looks forward to parent-teacher conferences because of the time it takes to prepare for conferences and the time involved in conducting them.  Afterwards, you are too exhausted to enjoy a long week-end or too busy honoring requests made during the conference to enjoy and rest.  Try these ideas, that I have used and found successful, to make conferences less stressful and your well earned time off restful.
 Of course, these won’t solve all the problems you may encounter. We’ve all had that “impossible-to-please” parent or the parent that is living in denial. My best advice is to pray. I start off the year praying and continue throughout the year. For me, praying before conferences is a necessity.  I realize that I may not be changing a parent’s response, but I am changing mine.  I am also setting the tone for a pleasant conference, which may change some parents’ perspectives. Remember, they have only had their child’s version until now. This is your opportunity to develop a working relationship with parents. Who knows?  It might change a child’s negative behavior by showing them that parents working with teachers forms a team to help them succeed.
                     students + parents + teachers = success!

Being organized is a huge help. Preparing in advance and doing everything you can to help conferences run smoothly will help you have less to do afterwards.   During my first years, I found myself running around, jotting down “to-do” notes of things that I needed to do after conferences: follow-up with Meggie’s mom on her progress in reading; add Kara’s mom to the class email; or call Tim’s dad to see when he is available to discuss Tim’s recent behavior.  I also spent my long week-end honoring each request. I returned to class exhausted. You need a break, a well-deserved break to recharge. You can put your mind at ease by organizing and documenting.

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