Monday, October 27, 2014

Don't Miss Out on This Important Conversation

I am posting early this week to remind you about parent teacher conferences that will be occurring the next two days. Traditionally we have had really good participation, and I am hopeful that this trend will continue. To remind everyone, conferences will be held today and tomorrow from 3:30-7:30. 

It is our hope that with Hudson being well into the second quarter of the school year, you have already had the chance to visit with you child's teacher prior to conferences. Perhaps you have communicated with an email exchange, a phone call, or another meeting. We value the input that you are able to bring to bear and truly hope that you take advantage of conferences tonight or tomorrow night.

While we hope parent teacher conferences aren't the first interaction you have had with you child's teacher this year, the parent teacher conference is a twice in a school year opportunity to engage your child's teacher in a private dialogue about their learning. Few 'built in' chances exist that formalize this type of conversation. Often times you can provide valuable information about your child's learning habits or provide specific strategies that can prove useful to the child's teacher. 

In addition to this, teachers can often provide insight into the academic progress that your child is making in school. They might be able to provide you with additional tips and advice into the types of instructional strategies that are being employed in the classroom and suggest ways in which to help your child further their learning. 

Parent teacher conferences should be viewed as a partnership! Use this conference as a chance to ask questions about your student's progress. You can count on teachers asking questions about your child in an effort to get to know them better and to further their learning. We understand that conferences can be at times stressful for all parties involved, but I assure you this shouldn't be viewed as a 'gotcha' moment. If there are uncomfortable issues that arise during the course of your conversation, we certainly hope this isn't the first time that you hear about them. Our goal is the same as your goal--student success in school!

Here are a few tips of advice provided by Mr. Schlatter that should help you to have a successful and enjoyable conference experience:
  1. Be honest and open.
  2. Focus on the student's strengths, yet address areas of concern.
  3. Be as specific as you can in your comments.
  4. Ask for and listen for opinions and suggestions (from both the parents perspective and the teachers perspective).
  5. As the conference ends, summarize and review any specific actions that you have decided to take. If necessary, schedule a follow up meeting.

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