Want to make the most out of your parent teacher conference? All you have to do is follow the Seven Bs:
Have your notes ready. Be sure to have the latest assessment of the child with you along with any work samples.
For example: "Here is a sample of David's latest self-portrait. You can see the change from two months ago. He still struggles with printing the letters in his name as he is unable to hold the crayon well. We are working with him on strengthening his fine motor skills."
Give a simple overview with three main sentences. Then go back to each point and elaborate.
For example: "Eytan is well liked by his peers, he has good letter recognition, but he does not know his sounds yet. He is a pleasure to have in class, he is kind and plays nicely with others. When I assessed Eytan, he was able to recognize all the letters in the alphabet but he was unable to match the letter sounds. We are working with him on his sounds through games but he could benefit from extra work at home."
Let parents know what is expected performance for their child's age group and give them some tips on how to help them.
For example: "One of the pre-requisites for kindergarten is to be able to match letters to their sounds. Try to play more letter and sound recognition games at home."
Retell the parents what you are hearing from them and continue by reassuring parents of concrete actions you will take to solve the issue.
For example: "I understand that you are concerned about Maya's anxiety during transition time. I believe that by giving Maya extra personal time, her anxiety will fade with time."
Tell it like it is and do not underplay any concerns you might have.
Describe a behavior as it is and do not analyze it.
For example: "John has difficulty with letter printing." Provide a sample of his work to show to the parents.
Parents have their children's best intentions at heart. They might also feel anxious and protective over their kids. Remember to be sensitive to their feelings and always remain polite and calm.
Remember you are working TOGETHER with the parents. Use the parent teacher conference time to find ways to help create better quality learning experiences for the child.