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.