3 Ideas For More Meaningful 5 Minute Parent/Teacher Conferences. This week I had my first experience with the 5 minute drive-by conference. You know the one; all the teachers in the lunchroom at their own table, parents waiting in line, and once the timer starts, off we go for non-stop talking, the only caveat being you only get 5 minutes. Not exactly my cozy student-led conferences that I love so much. Why the change? Besides that this is how we do it at my new school, I also have 113 students.
I don’t even know how I could possibly give them a longer student-led conference at the moment without spending weeks on it. And still, I wanted my students to be a part of it. The students reflected beforehand. I reflected and wrote down beforehand. I asked the parents how they felt and what they thought. Always find something good and end with that. Other small ideas include: Be wiling to set up separate conferences. Bring out the picture books. Just listening. Treat ever conference as if it is your first of the day. Like this: Like Loading...
A Few Ideas for Parent Engagement. Parent engagement is a natural component of the elementary experience, after all, with class parties, whole school events, and weekly newsletter, parents have an easy time becoming involved in their child’s education.
Not only is parent involvement invited, it is expected and so schools and individual teachers create plenty of opportunities for parents to be involved. Yet, with the gradual release of responsibility as students age, parent involvement becomes less and less of a focus. We expect them to still be involved but not nearly as present. Not nearly as informed. After all, their children should be growing into responsible teens, which I agree with, however, not all children are ready to be left to their own devices. So rather than an expectation of parent involvement in the upper grades, how about an invitation instead? The beginning of year parent survey. The weekly newsletter. A beyond-the-homework website. Morning/Evening events. The positive notes or phone calls.