One of my goals over the past few years has been to enhance the quality of my parent/teacher conferences, both for the parents' experience as well as my own records. For the past five years, taught a reading class for students with dyslexic tendencies. During my last year teaching in that program, I had the opportunity to begin the year with a day devoted to parent conferences only. I know a lot of school districts mandate this for their teachers as often as once per semester. While our district does not have that policy, our administration is highly supportive of the concept, and I know some of our classroom teachers have managed to organize a day like this within our school. Since I pulled students out of their regular classrooms to attend my small-group instructional class, my time at the beginning of the year was a bit more flexible for scheduling purposes. We could not actually start meeting with our students until all the beginning-of-the year assessments, scoring, and grouping has been completed. For me, this was a great time to meet with parents, because I was in the process of establishing starting points for my students, and I wanted to communicate that information with parents as well.
Since I had never had a Parent Conference "Day" before, I wanted to make it as organized and as efficient as possible. I tried to create paperwork that would document the information I needed. This is what I came up with...
I started with a letter that not only explains my purpose for the conference, but also provides an option for parents to schedule their conference. I also created a reminder note to send home just a few days prior to the conference.
I made two versions of a sign in sheet: one to sign in and one to sign up for my e-mail mailing list.
If you are interested in using my Sign-In/Sign-Up Pages for parent conferences in your classroom, you can grab those (both color and black-and-white versions) for free here!
Next, I made a note-taking page for myself, where I could document any pertinent information from the conference. I also think a simple follow-up is cordial, so I will send this "Thank you" note home, just to let parents know that I'm grateful for the time they spent meeting with me.
As I transitioned back to a second-grade classroom this year, I knew I might not necessarily have an opportunity to devote an entire "day" to conferencing at the beginning of the year. Still, I have continued to use all of these materials, to support my parent-teacher conferences throughout this year, and they have been tremendously helpful to my overall organization! I hope you may find them useful as well.