Parent Teacher Conferences Forms & MORE!

Parent Teacher Conferences Forms & Other Materials You need!

Whether you’ve taught for 1 year or 20 years, parent teacher conferences can be super stressful!  

Keep reading to make the experience a little more enjoyable this year.  I’ll work through a timeline with you and provide you with the forms, notes, and other materials you’ll need to get you going!

You likely have a day set aside for parent teacher conferences.  Usually districts set this day well in advance.  Once you know the date, begin preparing so it doesn’t catch you by surprise.  Nothing is more stressful than trying to wing a conference!

3 Weeks Before Your Parent Teacher Conferences

Three weeks before your parent teacher conferences, it’s time to get busy preparing for the event.  

Send a note home with the parents asking them to sign up for a time slot.  You may be at a campus where you don’t meet with every student. If that’s the case, you can let the parents know that you don’t need to meet with them.  

But remember that “good” kids’ parents like to hear about their child too.  Make sure you offer them the opportunity if they want it.  If nothing else, it can be a quick phone conference. 

In my free resources, there’s a note you can send home three weeks before the conference.  It tells the parents that parent teacher conference day is coming up.  The sheet explains how to sign up and offers an opportunity for them to send you a heads up about some concerns they are having and would like to have addressed.  

I prefer to have parents sign up digitally.  Trying to schedule times that work for everyone is a nightmare! A digital sign up sheet eliminates the need for tons of back and forth communication. I use a Google Doc to do this because it’s quick and easy. (AND it’s included in the free parent teacher conferences forms and other resources!) 

If you’re worried about parents (or students) using the Doc incorrectly, you could also create a sign-up genius.   I made one the other day and it was pretty quick and easy!

2 Weeks Before Your Parent Teacher Conferences

Two weeks before the parent / teacher conference event, send home a reminder to any parents that haven’t signed up for a time slot. Especially if there are kids’ parents that you need to meet with.  You know who I’m talking about.   

Many parents have good intentions, but are just a little busy.  A reminder will catch a few of the stragglers.  

A couple days after you have sent home the reminder, you may need to do some personal calls or emails.  Try and get everyone scheduled as soon as possible so that you don’t have to worry about it as you get closer to conference date.

1 Week Before Your Parent Teacher Conferences

A week before the parent teacher conferences, you can begin thinking about them a little more.  

Have your students fill out a reflection sheet so that you have something to share with their parents. This is good for two reasons. 

First, it helps the students see the conference as something that is important for their learning. 

But also, it shows the parents that you value and respect the opinions of their child. Most of the time students are not invited to be a part of the conference, so this reflection piece allows them to be present in some small way.

Around this time, you’ll also want to start thinking about the concerns that the parents shared with you. It will make them feel a lot better if you can have some sort of data or work samples that you can share with them to either alleviate or validate their concerns. 

Start gathering your evidence!

 

The Days Leading Up to Your Parent Teacher Conferences

It’s almost time for the parent teacher conferences! 

In the days leading up to the actual conference, it’s important to began pulling data, making notes, and preparing for the meeting. I’ve created a make-shift student folder that can house each students’ work samples, reflections, or other papers. It’s just a folded piece of paper, but it includes a place for you to write notes about the student. (Print it on front/back!)

Another thing you can do is have your students write a letter to their parents. This letter can be shared with them at the meeting. Again, it’s a fun way to bring the student into the meeting. 

Finally, you can use the reminder bracelets as a final attempt to make sure that no one forgets about their meeting. You’re prepared, organized, and ready for the big day!

 

The Day of Your Parent Teacher Conferences

It’s Today!
When it is finally the day for the conference, make sure you create two spaces. 

One of the spaces is for the actual conference, and the other space serves as a waiting room for parents who arrive a little bit early. 

Sometimes meetings can get behind schedule, so it is nice to have a place for parents to wait their turn. If you have any collaborative work that your class has completed together, such as a class book, you could set that out so that parents have something fun to look at while they wait.

There are a few things to remember during the actual conference.

Number one: That student is their baby!

To the parents, the child is the most important thing in their lives. 

To a teacher, it’s easy to lose sight of this simple fact. It’s really important that you talk to parents in a way that doesn‘t diminish their child. 

You’re probably going to have to deliver some bad news during some of your conferences. Some students are too talkative, some can’t focus, some may be bullying other students, some aren’t completing their work, and the list goes on. If you don’t put yourself in the parents’ shoes, it’s easy to come off as harsh or insensitive.  

Remember, lead with the awesome things about the child!

Number two: Don’t speak in adjectives.

For example, instead of saying that the student is lazy, put a spin on your words so that the parent comes to that conclusion his or herself. 

What are some specific things the student has done which would lead to the conclusion that they aren’t working their hardest? Maybe you have a work sample you can show them or a behavior chart. 

Here’s a chart with some dizzy alternatives.  (They’re dizzy because you’ve put a spin on them!)

Number three: Don’t be judgy.

If you’re judging the parents, they will definitely sense it. 

You will surely have plenty of parents that never support their kids at home.  They don’t study with their child or help with their homework.  You can forget any volunteering.  

Remember that your students come from all kinds of backgrounds, and you have no idea what their parents might be struggling with

Number four: Don’t talk like a teacher.

In teaching, we use a lot of jargon.  We have lots of acronyms.  

Be careful that you use regular language during your conferences so that your parents know what you’re talking about. 

Don’t assume that because it’s something you do every day with their child that they know anything about it. 

Leave words like differentiated, rigorous, and RTI out of the meeting.

Number five: You don’t have to know everything.

If a parent asks you a question, it’s okay to not know the answer.  

You can always tell them that you’ll find out and let them know.  If it’s something you feel like you should already know, just tell them that you want to double check what you think before you share it with them.

Number six: You don’t have to put up with bully parents! (READ THAT AGAIN!)

If you are getting yelled at, belittled, or feel uncomfortable, stop the meeting.  

Just say that you feel like it would be more productive with an administrator present.  

If you think this might happen with a certain parent, give your principal a heads up so that they can support you.

Number seven: We, not me.

Remember, you and the parents are on the same team.  

Include them in the decisions you make and any plans you want to initiate to help the student.  If parents feel appreciated, they will jump through hoops for you.  Read my blog about building positive parent/teacher relationships! Use the Parent Teacher Partnership printable to help build a better relationship.

Number eight: End on a high.

Even if you had to say a ton of hard things, be sure you end on a good note! 

Tell the parents how much you love their child, how happy you are that they are in your class, and something that amazes you about them. Dig deep and find specifics for each student in your class!

It’s Over!

While everything is still fresh on your mind, make sure you take notes and file away information that you’ll need later. Having this will help you further communicate with parents and track the growth of the students.

You’ve worked really hard to prepare for parent teacher conference time! Now that it’s over, plan something fun! Go to a happy hour or get a pedicure! You deserve it!

Want to Increase Parent Involvement?

If you have something you do that makes your conferences a success, be sure and let us know in the comments! I love learning from each other!

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