Parent-teacher conferences, which typically occur twice each school year, give both parties the chance to sit down and formally discuss a child’s academic and social progress, addressing both achievements and concerns in detail and setting forth an educational plan for the future. While parents and teachers may see each other frequently and talk casually about a child on a regular basis, conferences are an in-depth look at the child’s experience in school. Preparing for twenty or more parent-teacher conferences is a time-consuming and often stressful task for teachers. Knowing the essentials, however, can make preparation easier and make conferences go more smoothly.
1. Create Conference Worksheets （家长会表格设计内容至少包括：以下彩色部分文字）
Before conferences, create a simple worksheet that you can fill out for each student. The worksheet should have sections for academic strengths（课程学习程度或强项）, social observations（在校行为表现）, areas for improvement（进步）, and next steps（未来计划）. Leave a space where you can take notes（留块空间记下与家长讨论的问题，为日后做跟进） during each conference. Depending on the students’ grade level, you can also use the worksheet to list the students’ relevant test scores（考试结果可能的话也列在表格上，这样就不用再去调试卷了） so you don’t need to refer to your grade book during the meeting. The worksheet becomes your agenda for the conference; helps keep you focused on the points you need to communicate; and later, including the notes you take during the conference, becomes a handy reference for areas on which to follow up.
2. Formulate an Action Plan
Now that you’ve discussed the child , explain to the parents your plan for facilitating the child’s further progress. Even the most gifted children should receive the teacher’s attention in a way that lifts the ceiling off of their growth, and it is often their parents who especially want to know what you are going to do next to challenge their child（不能仅空谈学生的表现，成绩啦，还要给每位孩子特定的计划。对于特别优秀的孩子的父母需要知道下一步将给予孩子的挑战）. When preparing the conference worksheets, the “next steps” should lay out three or four concrete goals （这部分可在worksheet的‘未来计划’部分列出几个具体目标）that you have for each child for the next term.
3. Accentuate the Positive
Never forget that you’re talking about these parents’ baby. This is the most important rule: always focus on the positive. Every child excels at something; begin there. If the child struggles academically across the board, be sure to mention what nice manners he has or how helpful he is in class. Even when discussing areas of improvement, frame the conversation so you’re talking about building on what the child already knows. By staying positive, you are much more likely to earn the parents’ trust, keep them from becoming defensive, and foster a parent-teacher partnership that will enhance the child’s growth.
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