October 2011 Issue
September 16, 2011

Don't stress parent-teacher conferences!

Source: NYSUT United

Follow these 12 tips for success Tips courtesy of NYSUT Education & Learning Trust

  1. DO greet parents warmly at the door and create a welcoming environment. Many teachers group chairs around a table to share student work.
  2. DON'T direct parents to sit in front of your desk — it's condescending.
  3. DO start the meeting on a positive note — summarize student strengths before raising problems.
  4. DON'T dress too casually — your attire reflects your professionalism and the importance of the meeting.
  5. DO rehearse what you'll say — practice warm-up introductions and prepare an outline of issues to cover.
  6. DON'T make subjective statements about student performance — cite specific examples.
  7. DO use materials from student work folders to demonstrate performance.
  8. DO use positive, nonverbal behavior — listen reflectively, maintain good eye contact and lean in when you speak or make suggestions.
  9. DON'T blame parents or dominate the meeting — seek suggestions and allow time for parent questions.
  10. DON'T use educational jargon or acronyms.
  11. DO end on a positive note — set goals, review how parents can help and discuss plans for follow-through.
  12. DO give parents take-home materials — they can review, and refer back to them during the year.