Posts Tagged ‘writing report card comments’

Tips for Parent-Teacher Conferences and Report Cards: Part V of V

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Part V: After the Conference

Follow-Up
Immediately following each conference, before the next parent comes to your desk, jot down in your daily task book the follow-up tasks that need to be done. (For example, “Check with Johnny’s math teacher about homework assignments.”) Make sure to follow up and record this the next day.

Ending the Conference
Whatever you do in your conferencing with the parents, you want to end the conference on a positive note. You need to have secured their cooperation and their support.

Record the Conference
Always make a record of the parental conference. You will need to allow time, after the conference, to immediately make notes of what transpired. Be sure to schedule plenty of time for the conference. File all notes individually in each student’s personal folder. The importance of documenting everything in your work cannot be emphasized too much. You never know when such documentation may be needed to back up your position. Do not take lightly the documentation of conversations, notes, conferences, and student behavior.

Other Tips
Be sure that whenever you are sending information or notes home to the parents, you have used correct grammar and spelling. You need to write any message clearly and concisely. Be neat in your work as it is a reflection of you as a teacher and the educational system. Always keep a copy of any communication you have with any parent, such as notes that were sent home or telephone calls.

What has been your experience with parent-teacher conferences? Share your tips in our comment roll.

For more tips on parent-teacher conferences and writing report card comments, check out the following books:

Tips for Parent-Teacher Conferences and Report Cards: Part IV of V

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Part IV: During the Conference

Here are some tips to consider while the conference is in session:

  • Greet the parents at the door to welcome them into “your turf.” Remember that it is very important to make them feel welcome and comfortable.
  • Watch your body language. Research has shown that body language sometimes speaks louder than words. The non-verbal cues that you emit will often set the mood of the conference. You want the parent to realize that you are interested in their child and what they have to say about their child.
  • Be specific in what you want to say to the parent. Do not flounder.
  • Do not use educational jargon that the parent may not understand. Talk in layman’s terms. You want to ensure that they completely understand all that you say.
  • Focus on the strengths of the student first. Parents want to hear good things about their child. Later, you may feel more comfortable addressing any areas where the student is having difficulty or creating problems. Check out this list of appropriate euphemisms to use to address any negative behaviors the student is having. Remember that it is always wise to focus on a solution to any problem rather than focusing on the problem itself. Discuss the problem. Ask the parents to give suggestions as to how the problem would be best served. You want to work together with the parents in the remediation of any problem. 
  • Help parents feel free to ask questions. Be prepared for possible questions the parents might ask such as “How is my child doing in school?”, “What are his or her grades?”, “How can I help him or her do better?” “Have you had any problems with his or her behavior? If so, what will you do to solve the problem and how can I help support you in this?”, or “What are your discipline procedures?”

For tips on how to assess growth and competency of your students, check out these resources on student assessment and writing report card comments from the Jumbo Book of Teacher Tips and Timesavers.