008: Our Best Tips for a Successful & Efficient Parent Teacher Conference

Parent Teacher Conferences


Episode #8 

This episode we share Our best Tips for a Successful & Efficient Parent Teacher Conference (and some new awesome ones too).

We dedicate this eighth episode with some Fun Facts about the number 8.

So, the second semester has started–the halfway point and usually that means every teacher will be prepping for parent conferences!

It’s almost that time of the year again- PT Conferences.  I know some of you are saying: didn’t we just have the 1st PT conferences? Time is definitely flying for me this school year!  We want to offer you some tips to make your PT conference successful and efficient.

Edutopia has a great blog post on Parents: 19 Meaningful Questions You Should Ask Your Child’s Teacher.  Here are 6 of those questions that interested us:

  • 2, How will you respond if or when my child struggles in class?
  • 5. How are creativity and innovative thinking used on a daily basis in your classroom?
  • 6. How is critical thinking used on a daily basis in your classroom?
  • 10. How exactly is learning personalized in your classroom? In the school?
  • 16. What are the most common barriers you see to academic progress in your classroom?
  • 17. How is education changing?

These are great questions to think about and to be ready for as these questions are more philosophical in nature and requires some thinking. You may need to update your teaching philosophy to include the answers to these questions.

Some points we share:

  • In the beginning of the school year, I put a few pieces of student work into my students’ files so we can use them as talking points for the conference: tests, writing pieces, homework, etc.
  • I also give parents a Google Form to fill out prior to the conference to get to know students’ families/home lives.  See picture below for an example.  I print this out for those who don’t use email to fill out.  This is a great way to get a lot of info out of the way- I can choose topics to discuss at the conference. We revisit this form for the 2nd PT conference to set new goals and/or continue them. See link below.
  • Set up environmental visuals from parents’ point of view
    • positive
    • shows progress
    • show communtiy
  • Set up furniture – use adult chairs if possible, pencils, post-its for parents, provide snacks
  • Timer- keep track to stay on schedule- use phone or laptop- nice ringtone; face the clock – but make sure you say how much time you have with parent(s)
  • Have the student’s folder ready
  • This is where your child is now & we are working on x goals
  • We are a team, we are here to help your child
  • Be mindful of parents being outnumbered, giving heads up for more teachers/adults present
  • Design/writing– great open-ended assessment throughout the year!
  • Slide show outside the classroom of kids’ work while waiting for the PT conference
  • Digital portfolio- student reflection, feature a few pieces
  • Have a couple of recommended apps or websites that will help students – Khan academy, etc.

Key take aways

  • Preparation is always key to have a successful conference, but also look for new innovative ways to keep it fresh
  • Try putting yourself in the parents’ shoes and recognize that the classroom environment from their point of view is important


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“Presenterator” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


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Sharon Jaravata

Sharon is a 3rd grade public school teacher.

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