3 Steps to Shine at a Parent Teacher Conference
A parent teacher conference doesn’t need to be faced with dread and fear. Start with the best way to assess and a teacher parent conference form that’s perfect for preschool. Then follow my tips for teachers to shine at conference time!
The BEST Assessment for Preschoolers
Are you ready for this? The best assessment for preschoolers is not marking an X on a checklist. It’s not flipping through a set of flashcards. And it’s definitely not a quick scramble asking what a child knows the day before a parent teacher conference.
The BEST assessment for preschoolers is informal and natural observation.
Assessing your students on a regular basis will show you where they are, the progress they’re making, and let you know what they still need to practice.
An evaluation is an ongoing process not something you write in the lesson plans.
So, exactly how and when do we assess students? It’s easy to do throughout the day in different situations.
- Arrival & Unpacking – Observe to see if the child follows your morning routine, finds their name on a cubby, and exhibits independence.
- Table Time – You can assess everything from fine motor skills, social interaction, and basic academic concepts during Table Time. By planning a variety of Table Time activities, you’ll be able to informally evaluate quite a few skills each week.
- Circle Time/Large Group – Is the student attentive? Do they participate? Can they answer questions about a story you’ve read or recall information from the previous day?
- Small Group – In my opinion, Small Groups at the Teacher Table are the BEST time to do student assessments! Playing alphabet games and doing math activities in a small group setting will show you what your preschoolers really know. This type of natural observation is much better than quizzing a child before conferences.
Teacher Parent Conference Form
While you don’t need an exhaustive checklist of preschool skills, you do want to have something in writing to share with parents. The ideal conference form will highlight the positives and show an area or two needing development.
This freebie Teacher Parent Conference Form is perfect for preschool! It will help you focus on a child’s strengths and address a few areas they can work on. It’s a positive way to communicate and sets a great tone for the parent teacher conference!
Start with the strengths. Write what is impressive about the student and list at least three skills they have mastered. Always have more positives to write about than a long list of what the preschooler can’t do.
In the areas to develop, write two skills the student hasn’t achieved yet. Be specific but positive. Of course, you may have a long list of objectives a child can’t do. But pick your battles here and only focus on a couple.
The second half of the form is where you’ll detail a path for success. This will show the parent how important their child’s education is to you!
Make a plan how you’ll work on skills both at school and at home. Outline what you will be doing at school to encourge growth. Create a timeframe and break down big objectives into smaller segments.
Then, give a few suggestions the parents can do at home to help their child.
Parent Conference Tips for Teachers
Over the years, I found several things that made a conference be a good experience for everyone.
- Create a welcoming environment. A clean, uncluttered table -Several chairs available for parents – Paper and a pen for taking notes.
- Have copies made in advance of your Teacher Parent Conference form. This gives the family something to look at as you talk.
- Start with a positive story or statement about the student. Parents mainly want to see that you know their child and that you like them!
- A good way to initiate conversation in a conference is to ask “so, what does Jack say about school?”
- Focus on where the child is NOW and how far they’ve come. Yes, there are skills to work on and progress needs to be made but use the conference as a bridge to building a relationship with the parents.
A parent teacher conference can be a valuable experience for everyone. I hope these parent conference tips help you shine!