Anthony Smith, an academic counselor at Berkeley High School has been helping teachers prepare for parent conferences for more than a decade. When it comes to teachers making these conferences meaningful for all parties involved, here are some tips to help teachers prepare.
- Parents are your friends and want to partner with you to help their children succeed academically. These conferences might be an opportunity for you to reflect on your beliefs about parents. However, you want to remember to put those beliefs aside when you engage with them and welcome them as your ally.
- Make sure you know what your objective is for the time you have with the parents. Be clear on what you want to communicate and what you want the outcome of the meeting to be. Make sure you prepare your materials ahead of time so you can make the most of your time.
- If you are having a specific issue with a child, you need to be able to offer specific actionable solutions to the parents. You have to be specific when you are asking for change.
- Show that you care about them and their child’s success. Be specific in the positive data that you share with the parents and make sure that you truly feel this positivity.
These conferences are a way for you to communicate with your student’s parents and learn a little more about them. Take the time to prepare and get the most out of every meeting. Antony Smith Berkeley has been working with parents and teachers as an academic counselor for more than a decade.
Anthony Smith, of Berkeley, California is an experienced and dedicated academic counselor in California. He has spent the last ten years gaining experience and working to help students navigate the stressful process of applying to college. School counselors play an important role throughout a student’s academic career, including acting as a liaison for parent-teacher conferences. While it may seem like you don’t have to do anything but show up to the conferences with your child’s teacher, there are things you can do to get the most out of the experience.
When it comes time to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher, make sure to send back the conference request early. The early you send this form back to the teacher, the better chance you have of getting in at a time when both you and your partner can attend. This sends a strong message to the teacher that you are both interested in your child’s education. If you are divorced, you may want to check with the school to see what their policy is for divorced parents. However, because teachers are often scheduled so tightly, they may not be able to accommodate separate conferences for you and your ex.
If you have issues that will take the time to discuss, be sure to ask for a double conference block. You may only have fifteen or twenty minutes for your conference, so if you have lengthy issues to address, you will want to ask for the extra time ahead of your scheduled time. You also want to make sure you talk to your child before the scheduled conference and ask for their input. Give them the opportunity to tell you if there is any specific thing they would like you to discuss with their teacher and be sure to debrief them after the conference so they know what was said.
Show up to the conference with a set of questions that you’ve written down and don’t forget to bring a pen and piece of paper. This will help ensure you don’t leave before getting all of your questions answered. Writing down the answers to your questions will help you refer back to those notes when you are talking to your child or if you have something that you need to have the teacher clarify.
Finally, don’t leave out information about your home life. This can help your child’s teacher understand any circumstances that your child may be facing that might affect his success. Anthony Smith Berkeley has been a successful liaison between parents and teachers for over a decade and is committed to helping students achieve academic success.