Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Successful Parent Conferences

We just finished our parent teacher conferences on Thursday and Friday. It was a long couple of days, but they went fabulously! I genuinely don't think I've ever had a more successful set of conferences! Every parent left very happy, and so did us teachers! Whoo hoo! Yippee skippy!

In our class we have 2 teachers and we each bond with completely different kids. Some kids come to me for everything, other kids prefer Lauren. We have totally different personalities and therefore different connections with the kids. Both of us love this and see this as the epitome of teamwork in a co-teaching classroom. As long as every kid feels loved and has a strong connection with at least one of us, that's all that matters.

With this in mind, we took turns leading the conferences based on which teacher has the strongest connection with that child. It's a very equal balance and made the conferences go 50/50 for who was leading and who was taking all of the notes.

One thing that seemed strange to me at first, but I actually really liked was the "action required" section of our notes below our regular notes of the discussion topics. We had to make a list during our conference of things that needed to be followed up on. This ranged from emails to specialists, behavior charts to send home, to the new strategies we wanted to implement based on our discussions. This section made it SOOOO easy come Monday morning to make sure we did all of those little follow up things that can be so easy to forget after a new parent walks into your room to talk.

Our kids have made soooo much progress since they walked into our room on the first day. The kids have already made HUGE academic strides! We have also had kids who had struggles with their behavior who are like whole new kids now. We are so proud of them!

One thing we make sure to do is tell little stories about each kid to their parent about something that made us laugh, or something that made us very proud of them! The parents always love this part. This was my favorite story of the week:
Please note the kids are dead serious during this conversation.
Kid 1: (big sniffle/snort)
Kid 2: They make tissues for that!

Kid 1: Tissues are for boogers. This is snot!!
Kid 2: But still! Use a tissue!
Me: Actually Kid 1, Kid 2 is right. Tissues are for boogers AND snot (as I try my hardest to keep a straight face, but then burst into laughter as I look at the other teacher)
The parents busted up laughing and it made for a very enjoyable conference ending!

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