The Best Resources On Parent/Teacher Conferences

As regular readers know, I’ve been “curating” resources I’ve posted about over the past three years. You can see all my parent engagement-related “The Best” lists here.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources On Parent/Teacher Conferences:

Successful Student-Led School Conferences is from Middleweb.

Parent–Teacher Conference Tip Sheets (Hojas de Consejos Para Las Reuniones de Padres y Maestros) are two hand-outs — one in English and one in Spanish — that “are designed to support educators and families in conducting productive, successful parent-teacher conferences.” They’re from the Harvard Family Research Project.

“Student-led conferences benefit parents, kids” is the headline in a Yakima Herald article about a local effort to do teacher/parent/student conferences that are led by students.

Education Research Report provides a pretty interesting summary of a study done analyzing what actually happens in parent-teacher conferences. Check-out “In Parent-Teacher Conferences, It’s Often Not About the Student.”

Student-Led Conferences: A Growing Trend comes from Education World.

Acing Parent-Teacher Conferences is the headline of an article in The Wall Street Journal. There’s nothing particularly new or insightful there, but it does some decent advice. It seems to be an unusual article to find in the mainstream media.

Conferring with Parents — Part One and Conferring with Parents — Part Two both come from Choice Literacy.

Student-Led Conferences is a post by Peter DeWitt at Ed Week.

Why Parent Teacher Conferences Matter is a useful post from a middle school principal, Mr. Bernia.

Student-Led Parent Conferences: How They Work in My Primary Classroom is a nice post by teacher Kathy Cassidy.

Seven Ideas for Meaningful Parent-Teacher Conferences is an excellent post by Nancy Flanagan over at Education Week Teacher.

How to hold an effective conference with parents of ELLs is by Judie Haynes. This is how she begins:

Do you feel unsure of how to hold productive conferences with the parents of your ELLs? Sharpen your communication skills by reading these tips.

It’s Show Time is a post by Jessica Lahey where she offers some excellent advice to teachers about parent conferences.

Tips for Parent-Teacher Conferencing is a good post by Elena Aguilar over at Edutopia.

Here’s how she ends it:

Don’t underestimate the power of the positive, and lead with it. Be specific in the positive data you — tell an anecdote or show a piece of work. Make sure you truly feel this positivity — we can all sniff out empty praise. There is always, always something positive and praise-worthy about every single child. It’s your job to find it and that data with parents.

Matt Davis at Edutopia has published a nice post titled Five Resources for Parent-Teacher Conferences.

How To Do Student-Led Conferences is a good post by Pernille Ripp how to organize student-led conferences with parents and teachers.

Sligo Creek Elementary moves to group meetings for parent-teacher conferences is the headline of a newspaper article about an interesting twist on on family involvement.

Here’s an excerpt:

Parent-teacher conferences at Sligo Creek Elementary School in Silver Spring are taking on a new format.

Rather than teachers meeting with individual parents and families, the conferences are moving to a group setting starting this November

How to Get the Most Out of a Parent-Teacher Conference is a useful post over at Mind Shift.

Rethinking Parent-Teacher Conferences is the subject of The New York Times feature “Room For Debate.”

It includes responses from eight educators — my favorite being Jose Luis Vilson.

Teachers switching format of parent conferences is an article in St. Louis Today sharing how teachers in one school began moving their parent-teacher conferences into student-led ones.

Principal Connection / Tips for Better Parent-Teacher Conferences is a nice article by Thomas R. Hoerr in ASCD Educational Leadership.

Here’s an excerpt:

Too often, parent-teacher conferences are seen as one-way reports from teacher to parent, but a parent-teacher conference should be a collaboration. Teachers have information to share, but they also need to allocate time for questions and discussion. We all need to work to be good listeners (I sure do), and this can be difficult for people who are used to speaking to students from a position of authority. No matter how valuable our words, if we talk so much that parents can only listen, we’re missing a chance to work together and serve our students better.

Two recent posts by parents at other blogs both made the point that they are tired of having the focus of their conversations on measuring their children by numbers.

In What parents don’t want to hear at parent-teacher conferences, Journo Adviser says:

When my wife and I sat down at our daughter’s 5th grade parent-teacher conference last week, we hoped to get a sense that the teacher understood our daughter and her strengths and weaknesses. But we didn’t.

Instead, the teacher provided us with a litany of numbers and test results the school and the education-testing industry use to define our daughter and her education.

And, in EduSanity: The No Number Parent-Teacher Conference Challenge, Jason Endacott begins this way:

I met with my sons’ teachers yesterday for parent teacher conferences. Both of their teachers are amazing in their own unique ways, but they share a common love for young people that long ago convinced me that my boys were in good hands.

I started with Cooper’s second grade teacher and after exchanging the usual pleasantries, we sat down at the little table where my adult knees didn’t quite fit and I told her I wanted to issue a friendly challenge.

“Let’s discuss Cooper’s progress in your class without using a single number that you did not generate.”

NPR offered two separate shows on Rethinking A Fall Classic: The Parent-Teacher Conference.

Three Tips to Focus Parent-Teacher Conferences On Creating a Partnership is a useful post from MindShift.

Feedback is welcome.

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You might also want to explore the 780 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled here and at my main blog.

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