PREPARING FOR PARENT CONFERENCES
by Barry Sweeny
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Goals for Parent Conferences:
1. To create a parent-teacher team with a shared agreement about the role of each partner in helping
the student to succeed in school and in life.
2. To provide a two-way communication opportunity that updates each partner on the "team" about the student's learning and behavior characteristics and history.
3. To establish a relationship that makes it easier for teacher or parents to initiate contact later on.
What parents perceive about their child at home may or may not correspond with teacher perceptions. If there are inconsistencies these can be important clues for teachers as we try to diagnose student problems and to seek ways to increase student motivation to learn. So...
YOU MAY WANT TO ASK THE PARENTS:
1. What are the student's spare time activites? Reading? Music? Socializing? Writing?
2. What examples the parents see at home of the student using math, art, info on other cultures, or asking about nature. Regardless of grade level, these clues can help you help the student.
3. What does the student say about school? The Teacher? Other students? Learning?
4. What chores or responsibilities does the student have at home?
5. Who does the student spend time with at home? In the neighborhood?
6. Are there recent or past events in the student's family which may impact readiness to learn?
7. What do you find to be the most effective discipline for the student at home?
8. What are the child's strengths? Weaknesses? How do the parents hope the child can grow?
9. What rumors have you heard about school?
YOU MAY WANT TO TELL THE PARENTS:
1. The ways that the student participates in class and in which kinds of activities.
2. The degree of self-control the student exhibits and ways all can encourage this development.
3. How the child is accepted by and interacts with other students and other adults.
4. The ability of the student to handle grade level expectations, materials and assignments.
5. The subjects or topics in which the student has shown interest.
6. The ability of the child to express thoughts orally, in written or aesthetic forms.
7. The student's emotional "position" at school. Usually happy? Serious and intent? Lonely?
8. What should the teacher know to be effective in helping the student? What can parents do?
You may copy and distribute this paper as long as you do so for free and maintain the following credits:
Barry Sweeny, Resources for Staff & Organization Development
26 W 413 Grand Ave. Wheaton, IL 60187 (630) 668-2605, E-mail [email protected]