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We're having parent teacher conferences this week and this year they get to be longer since class size is down. Is there anything you wish you could include but don't have time for?

I don't want to leave a bunch of empty space unfilled if I can avoid it.

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I made a conference form. Part of it I fill out ahead of time. It has each subject listed with current grade, strengths & areas for improvement. ( I might have example work depending on the topic). Then it has a box to list parent thoughts for each. I also have a box for MAP testing, Lexile , and last year’s state test results ( which will be blank this year). At the bottom, I have check boxes with positive & needs improvement behavior statements. Things like completes work on time, works well independently, needs frequent reminders to stay on task, etc. on the back I have three boxes. 1. Teacher concerns / celebrations. I put at least one positive thing about the student that the parent could go home and share. I put one way a student could improve or get better organized. 2. Parent concern/celebration. I ask the parent to tell me something super about their kiddo and then general concerns that we may want to address including organization & homework issues. Additionally I will use this area to discuss any IEP or special needs. 3. Our Plan— clearly write out what the teacher will do to help the child AND what the parent will do to help the child. AND what we as a parent and teacher will expect from the child moving forward. Nothing super detailed. Just pick a couple goals to start with. Then I list who was at the conference. If in person, I would take a picture of the front & back for my record and give the form to the parent. If online, I’ll send the parent a copy via email.

It take time to prep, however, I don’t forget what I want to say and helps parent get a big picture view of how their child is doing. I think it also helps shift the conference from a complaint session to a problem solving/solution based discussion.

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It sounds like I do a lot of this already! Although you have a lot more written out.

General we discuss first quarter grades. Notes from the other 2 teachers (we're departmentalized) things that I'm noticing in the classroom and any concerns for ELA. We then go over a student self reflection survey and a parent completed form with any concerns or questions, as well as information about homework and such. I also have to go into AR when they come into my grade it's the first time the students have done it and many parents are unfamiliar.

I love your goals and how to reach them portion.

In years past we've had about 5 minutes per conference, this year we have about 15. I want it to be as constructive as possible there's so much stress this year I don't want it to come out badly at the PT conference.

I figured I was preaching to the choir. Most of will do this intuitively. I found that I would forget something because parents and I would get off track. Not all bad but I felt like I missed my chance. We have 15 min conferences and when I have this prepared, I get the most out of the time. Usually I feel good about my conferences. I hope my parents do also.

I could not imagine a 5 min conference. 🤯

I usually like to have students in the conference at least partially- after all its about the child. Have the student share their successes from the class. Our next conferences will be student led with a format and routine established from their own data binders.

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