I have discussed various ways to get parents involved in back-to-school nights and parent conferences before, but what happens if all of your efforts are not enough? You have tried all of your engagement techniques including bribes of dessert bars and extra points and you still are not seeing the turnout of parents you are hoping for. When you survey your parents you find that many of them simply cannot find the time to come out to events, even for their child’s good.
So how do you manage to get the information you need to them in the time they have, while still engaging their child? This is where my article focuses: on the “new‘ parent- teacher conference.
The newness of the conference is not in what comes of it; the purpose of the conference is still to trade information back and forth between families and teachers to open a line of communication for the purpose of student success. The newness of these conferences is in the style in which they are done, particularly in that students lead the conferences with their parents.
Generally, the teacher schedules days for families to come in and use her classroom over the course of one to two weeks. The child writes a letter inviting the parent to confer. The child sits in the teacher’s chair and conducts the conference, giving necessary information and showing work they have completed throughout the year.
Children as young as kindergarten are participating in these meetings; they become more complex as students become older.
with students presenting PowerPoint presentations to their parents by fifth grade. Parents generally have the option to participate in a traditional conference as well or instead, but most teachers polled have found that parents see the child-led conferences as plenty. As a teacher, this would take one less job off my to»do list. Not only IS this style of conference more engaging for the child and parent, but truly shows the interpersonal and social skills developed in the classroom.