Now that you've had the chance to settle into the routine of the new school year, it's time to start thinking about what's next. Conferences are fast approaching, and we want you to make the most of it whether you are the doting parent or eager educator. Here are some tips to make every minute (and second count).
1. The conference is just the beginning of a longer dialogue. The conference kickstarts an open, supportive conversation that will carry on throughout the school year. Use this time together to build rapport and trust.
2. Expect to see & share student work samples. Teachers can help parents to interpret the significance of the artifact. For example, what does the photography show the child can do? What can they work on next?
3. Find out what support and enrichment can look like at home. Parents frequently want to know what they can do to continue the learning that it is happening in the classroom. Pass along trusted website and resources; they can go along way in making parents feel a little less alone in supporting their child.
4. Avoid asking for or making comparisons. Remember, the child being discussed is the one who you will really want to focus on. When teachers provide developmental markers it can help offer context, but it is important to remember each student is unique in their strengths and goals.
5. The teacher is not there to "approve" of your child, but to help you in partnership. Be mindful in how this is conveyed to your child in advance and following the conference.