As y’all know, the past couple weeks have not been the best of my life. Life goes on, however, and last week was time for parent teacher conferences! My adoptive mom always says that no matter what, you have to “rally and sparkle,” so that’s exactly what I set out to do! I have a few tips that worked for me during my conferences! I hope they help!
1. Dress to impress
I feel like this one is a big “DUH!” but it needs to be said! When I do conferences, I go for an old school professional look with personalized touches. My makeup is done, but not overdone, and I do sleek, no-nonsense hair to avoid hair-related fidgeting! French twists work wonders! I also make sure I don’t forget my name badge. Here is my outfit from Monday’s conference:
Shoes: Kate Spade
Earrings: Kendra Scott
Bracelet: Rustic Cuff
2. Be prepared
When parents come, don’t be that guy who has to fish through a boatload of memories to find the kid’s grade. I had a (cute and pink) folder ready with each of my students’ grade reports and missing assignment reports so that I wouldn’t draw a blank. Many of my fellow teachers with more students had it all ready on an iPad, which also works well. I’m just old-fashioned! 😉
3. Start with the positives
No matter how bad a kid’s grades or behaviors are, always start on a good note. If it’s “that kid” who always shows up when you don’t want him to, compliment the parents on their commitment to his education and his perfect attendance record. Make sure you are saying something that is true, though. The parents can tell if you are being fake! After you have talked about the good things, it is easier to bring up concerns, because you just showed that everyone is on the same team.
4. Be professional
Again, duh, but it must be said! I always try to build rapport and mention common interests, but our main job is to show that we know what the heck we are doing! I keep the introductions friendly, but I present myself in a professional manner when I am going over my grades and observations. Acting too austere can put parents off, but joking the whole time won’t work either. You have to find a happy medium that keeps parents comfortable and assured that their kid is in good hands.
5. Celebrate afterward! 🎉
You did it!! You got through parent teacher conferences! I like to go out and celebrate! That picture above was taken at Flatire Burgers, where Ben and I enjoyed a casual post-conference dinner! It was also our monthaversary, so bonus! We as teachers work our patooties off, and it’s okay to #treatyoself sometimes!
I hope these tips were helpful! If you are not a teacher, I hope your kids’ teachers are making you feel at ease! Which tips would you add to this list?
Until next time!