Has Participation In Parent-Teacher Conferences Waned Over The Years? 3 Tips To Encourage More Involvement
As an educator, you understand the importance of regular parent-teacher conferences where students can see the adults in their life working together for their benefit. While conferences should never be your only point of contact with parents, there is just something amazing that happens when you have a large chunk of time dedicated to talking one-on-one. Unfortunately, parental interest in attending conferences can decrease as children mature or if you teach in an area where it may not be that simple for people to take time out of their schedule to come to the school. If you've noticed the numbers dropping, then use these tips to revitalize interest and connect with all of your students' parents this year.
Make Scheduling Easier
In the past, sign-up sheets were often used for conferences, and you may have had to ask parents to circle several of their preferred times so that you could compare them to others before nailing down a date. While you may have tried to do your best to give parents a time that was convenient, the truth is that this awkward system made it harder to schedule a conference than necessary. With online parent-teacher conference scheduling, you can eliminate this hardship by having parents sign up where they can see the available time slots right away. Since the first people to sign up tend to get the time that they want, this also helps to motivate procrastinators to pick a slot.
Encourage the Student to Lead the Discussion
Parents love to hear about their children, but they sometimes dread going to a conference where they may hear things that are disappointing. In addition to the usual strategies to keep things positive, you can have the child lead the first portion of the conference so that parents get a sense of how their child does in the classroom. Whether you have your students show off a recent project or demonstrate a new skill, their parents will look forward to seeing what happens at the next conference as well.
Send Reminders as the Date Nears
Scheduling parent teacher conferences early is the best way to make sure that everyone can attend. However, parents may forget about the conference after they sign up. Use your scheduling system to send out reminders to all of your parents a day before the conference. You can also use a similar method to reconnect with any parents who forgot to sign up to begin with so that they have a second opportunity to plan to attend the conference.
Every meeting that you have with a student's parents increases the sense of community and support that everyone feels at your school. This year, make contact with every single one of your students' parents by making a few minor changes to how to conduct the conferences.