Parent Teacher Conferences are coming up. In order to get ready, I have created binders for each student. The binders will hopefully have everything I need to discuss with the parents. They have a checklist that will help keep me on target with my limited time with each parent. Since I know I have a tendency to "gab", I need something to keep me focused. The binder will also have our district report card. I will be sure to have all of their assessments included as well.
During conferences I always remember that the parents are their child's first teachers. For this reason I ask them to initiate the conference by telling me how they think their child is progressing. If the student comes to the conference, I ask for their input. I teach first graders so their input is fairly limited to words like "good" or "okay". From there I go to my binders.
I always try to keep things positive. For every negative I try to say two positive things. I encourage all parents to read and write with their children, even if it is in a language other than English.
Parent Teacher Conferences are often stressful for teachers. I used to be nervous about conferences but now I look at it as a time for me to get to know the families a little better. I look forward to it.