Parent/Teacher Conferences - Must Do's

Parent/Teacher Conferences - Must Do's

FALL Parent/Teacher Conferences are right around the corner. Here are a couple of must "dos" for any conference:
  1. Be on time, make the most of the time you have with your teacher.
  2. Bring a note pad to ensure you have notes from the conference.
  3. Review any data that might be available through Jeffco Connect or work your child has brought home, so you can have questions ready for your teacher.
  4. Be supportive, patient and listen...teachers are helping you raise your child, they're human too :-)
  5. Ask if your child can join you. After all, it is about "them."
  6. Finally, ask how you can be helpful working with the teacher to help your child have a successful school year.

'But I have a gifted child, so that adds a little bit more to the conversation because of the Advance Learning Plan (ALP). So how do I tie the ALP into the conversation?' When you ask questions, you can frame them to incorporate the ALP. The GT Department encourages you to ask:
  1. What are my child's area(s) of strength included in the Advance Learning Plan? (Remember this is a living document so in third grade, math may have been the only "strength area" identified, but your child is now in sixth grade and is a musical child prodigy in bag pipes, make sure music is on that ALP!)
  2. What goal has been determined to meet my child(s) academic or affective growth? (Make sure you understand and agree with the goal, since it is something you, your child, and your teacher will work on together to achieve.)
  3. How will I know when the goal is completed and celebrated? (Management of expectations for all.)

The ALP needs to have meaning to your child and to you. It is not just a piece of paper, it is a guide to help your student grow and develop into the person they have the potential to be. It takes a partnership with you, your child, and your child's teacher to make the ALP become a living document.

Here are a few articles that might offer guidance on advocating for your child:

  - From the Harvard Family Research Project "Parent-Teacher Conference Tip Sheets for Principals, Teachers, and Parents
  - From MindShift "How to Get the Most Out of a Parent-Teacher Conference" by Holly Korbey, which discusses the Harvard Family Research Project Tip Sheets.  
  - "Six Tips for Communicating with Your Gifted Child's Teacher" by Gail Post, Ph.D.   
  - "Tips for Your Gifted Kid's Parent-Teacher Conference" by Sandra Berger, M.Ed. offers five guidelines and five questions to make the most of your parent-teacher conference.   
  - "Tips for Talking With Your Gifted Child's Teacher" by Carol Bainbridge offers some practical advice.   
  - From SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) "Parent-Teacher Conferences" by Arlene DeVries.