It’s getting close to Parent/Teacher Conferences at our little preschool and I thought it would be fun to share some ways that I have connected with the parents during this special pocket of time together.
First of all, I love conferences! It is the perfect opportunity to get to know my students’ parents better! Usually when I see the parents I have a room full of toddlers who all need to use the potty (or have already used it in their pants – ha!), so our encounters are pretty brief (ha — did you see what I did there?). 😉
These parents. They are so amazing. I am in awe of how they love their kids. Pack their lunches. Care for them day in and day out. Get them to school alive… They deserve all the love. Being a parent is NO JOKE and these precious people are getting it done. Preschool Parent/Teacher Conferences is not just a time to touch base about their child’s development – it is a time to encourage, lift up, and breathe life into the places that all of our parenting hearts need.
And I love listening to my parents talk about their kids. I learn so much from them!
Also, building a good relationship with a parent makes things a lot easier if you ever have to have a tough conversation with them about any concerns you might have.
Here is How I do Conference Day…
I like to have a super clean classroom prepared for my visitors. I will sometimes burn a candle or buy a cinnamon broom in the fall and play soft piano/worship music to set a relaxing, peaceful tone. I like to set a few chairs in the hallway next to a little table decorated for the season holding a bowl of mints (see a cute FREE Printable below) as well as some water bottles. I also like to keep a copy of my conference schedule on the door so parents will know what’s going on. Then I make sure to have all of my materials ready and on the table as each guest arrives.
A few weeks before conferences, I bring the ‘good camera’ to school and pretend I’m a good photographer and snap some photos of my students being adorable at what they do best – play!
Then I print the photos and put them in an inexpensive frame from IKEA. On Conference Day I put the framed photo on the table where I meet with the parents and it becomes the perfect springboard for our conversations. We are meeting to celebrate the life of their little one.
After the conference the parents can take their photo home with them!
I am at a Christian school where faith in Jesus is the core of everything we do for our students and families. The first thing on my conference agenda is prayer – prayer for my students and the sweet parents sitting in the tiny little chairs in front of me.
Not all of my parents are believers, so that makes this the best part of my job!
After the prayer, I begin with praise. I think of a few specific words and stories to share with the parents about their kid. Something to make them smile, laugh, and be assured that I am loving their child well and that they are happy at school.
After the time of praise, we discuss areas for desired progress. I spend some time evaluating my students during the weeks before our conferences. Our school has a special rubric featuring a list of developmental milestones that are typical for 2-and-3-year-olds and we use that as a guide for our conferences. These include movement skills, social/emotional development, or something pertaining to communication/language – among other things – and I find areas for growth based on this.
Then I share a plan with the parents of how I can help the student grow through the year as well as some ways they can help at home!
The key to this time is keeping a positive atmosphere. My job is to serve these students and their families the best I know how and they need to know that! We are a team and we can work together to help their child be successful.
Finally, I love presenting the parents with a special project/keepsake that the students have made at the end of our conference. Last year we made THESE PUMPKIN HANDPRINT CARDS. They were so cute AND they had the Gospel message included inside the card!
After I have finished all of my conferences I usually send a quick follow up note or email thanking my parents for their time and how much I enjoyed getting to spend time with them!
Here are a few other FREE Printables I found to help make Parent/Teacher Conferences a success!
- Pre-Conference Form for Parents from Upper Elementary Snapshots
- Conference Reminder Forms from The Primary Chalkboard
- Conference In Progress Sign from A Teeny Tiny Teacher
- How Is My Child Doing Form from Fun In First
- Parent Co-MINT-ment Sign from The Primary Pack (set outside the classroom door with a bowl of mints – so cute)
- How to Approach Parent/Teacher Conferences Like a Pro from Once Upon a Learning Adventure
I hope you found something helpful here! You are a blessing to those parents!