Tuesday, September 27, 2011

C is for Conferences

Do tell -- teachers and other parents -- do you have a secret on handling school conferences?  What is the best way to get across what you want the teacher to know about your student and be a concerned and interested parent in the 5-10 minutes allowed?

Notice anything different about her hair?

It's nearly school conference time . . . already!  Actually, Maddy has received a first quarter progress report and live conferences are scheduled in a few weeks.  An article I recently read in a parenting magazine sounded very helpful on making the most of your student's school conference, so I thought I would be nice and share the highlights. Here's the lowdown!

1.  Bring questions to discuss your the teacher; write down your concerns ahead of time. I know I think of something I wanted to ask about the time I reach the car to go home!
2.  Be open-minded to what the teacher says about your child -- kids often act differently at school than at home.
3.  Leave with take-home tips.  Ask the teacher for tips on preparing for tests, homework-help ideas, ways to help your child socialize with other students.
4.  Follow-up -- with your student.  Tell your student what was said -- including praise -- who doesn't love a pat on the back!

From my own experiences, remember if there is not enough time in the conference to discuss all your concerns, make another appointment or contact the teacher by telephone or e-mail.  I know our conferences are only about 10 minutes long and teachers have to keep on schedule as there are other parents waiting their turns. Most teachers are more than willing to set up an appointment, make a phone call or e-mail to discuss your questions and concerns.

Feathers are allowed at her school -- Maddy was delighted to get one recently - it's ice-blue!!
This made my little student very happy
Being a teacher is hard.  Being a student is work too and the key (I think) is hard work, communication and cooperation.  I have found my girl's teachers to be very helpful.  Maddy is a very hard worker and wants to please. But, she's also a little afraid to ask questions and she's a worrier.  I do all I can to help her feel comfortable and at ease with her teacher and also to find ways to help her learn and excel in the classroom and with her homework.  Yep, we are again doing "Jeopardy" social studies and science this year to make learning definitions more fun!  What works for you and your student?


Number 6 and no more counting! said...

I once had another parent burst in on my interview. She was angry we went over time! She announced that her husband was with her and he "billed $200.00 an hour"!! I was mortified! How rude!


Jodee said...

First, I can't believe it's time for conferences already. Unfortunately, I am scarred from Carson's Kindergarten conference where his teacher started with, "Carson sometimes has an agenda of his own!" Yikes! I have dreaded every one since! It looks like Parenting has some good tips for all of us!

Second, I love, love, love Maddy's fancy blue feather! It looks fabulous with her dark hair!

Hope your conference goes well!

Love Letters To China said...

Is it already time for conferences? We have been in the trenches lately. Five tests just this week. It's just crazy the amount of work she's getting in 3rd grade. I would love to learn more about your jeopardy game. Did you post about it last year? Anything to make studying fun is always welcome.

Love her feather! My daughters Catholic school doesn't allow anything in their hair other than hair clips. Very strict.

Looks and sounds like M. is doing great. :-)

Courtney said...

Love the feather, all the little second grade girls are all about them in my classroom. Coming from a teacher, these are great tips. I find it helpful if parents email me or send a note ahead of time letting me know their concerns. This helps me to be prepared with information and resources.

Kim K. said...

The blue feather is absolutely stunning. Emma would TOTALLY approve. Email conversations and email questions are my husband's favorite way to be prepared for his IEP meetings and parent conferences. Great tips.

Kim said...

Love the feather as well! I think the article gave some great tips and I have to say that I generally can check all of them off. I am certain Maddy's will be smooth sailing.

Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

Those tips from the article look pretty good to me. We had an issue pop just last week at our house with Erica who is in 3rd grade. I sent off a quick e-mail to the teacher about our concerns and the problem was solved later that day, but we also were open to a meeting if needed. Communication with the teacher is very key; it doesn't have to be just at conferences.

Sharon said...

I agree with Lea that it's too rushed and stressful during that time...I got so I just listened then wrote her notes during the school yr when I wanted to say something...then I got lots of attention,,he
Janet that's so funny that they Both want to be tooth faiiries,,,so cute,,wish we could trick or treat together!!!!!
Love her feather...such a gorgeous girl!!

Sharon said...

Ps ,,,,more pics of you,,,the ONE I've seen is beautiful in every way!!!!!,,,and thank you for ur words,,,SO reassuring ,,what would I do withhold out you.,, Love you Janet. ,,

Football and Fried Rice said...

I personally think conferences are a waste of everyone's time :) I feel like I NEVER leave with more insight into my student than when I came in.

I DO love Maddy's blue feather!! I would love for Mya to have one!

The Byrd's Nest said...

Love the feather! She is so darling:)

I am certain I was the dreaded parent that loved to "chat" too much;) Well, actually, I am that person everywhere I go...even Walmart. I can't believe some of these comments though about how parents are so rude...that is terrible!

How wonderful to hear such amazing things about Maddy:) You are a great mom!

Laurie said...

Thankfully we don't have the "quickie conferences" at A's school, cause we talk WAY too much for one of those. My favorite thing to do (so far, this is new for me to be on the other end of conferences) is to schedule meetings outside of conference time, and I ALWAYS bring a list so I'll be sure to leave with answers! So far it's working great! :) Good luck with Maddy's!

Nancy Nurse said...
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Nancy Nurse said...

Great Advise - can I use it on my Weekly News email to parents for our school? We have conferences coming up and I would love to add it to the reminder to make their appointments. Love your blog, by the way - always a great read!