Your Complete Guide to Stress-Free Conferences
Whether you're distance learning or in the classroom, virtual parent-teacher conferences can still be an effective way to share student progress with parents.
Parent teacher conferences might seem overwhelming this year, but I’ve created a guide that has helped take all of the stress out.
I’ve been using digital conference sign-ups for years, even when we weren’t virtual. You simply share the Google Slides link with parents and they sign-up for one of your time slots. No more asking parents for their top 3 choices or sending individual reminders to parents. It’s so easy, just share the link in your class email.
In the email, you can also link the included pre-conference parent questionnaire. This is a good way for parents to bring up any concerns they have before the conference. You can prepare your answers to their concerns ahead of time, instead of being thrown-off during the conference.
This year I’ve found a really easy way to make sure I’m organized for each actual conference, too. I’ve created conference slides for each student where I’ve filled in their academic strengths and goals, behavior and work habits, test scores, and more. It’s actually helped me become more prepared for conferences.
During the virtual conference, I follow the slides as I share my screen with parents. There’s even an “Action Plan” that we co-create together as a recap of the conference so parents know how they can help at home, and I can remember the tasks I need to complete after the conference is over.
Did I mention I can share this copy with parents just by sharing the link with them after the conference?
If you’re into student-led conferences or want students to share about themselves, but don’t necessarily want them to join the conference, I’ve also included student reflection slides where they tell about how they like school, their strengths and goals, their friends, and they can even link digital work that they’re really proud of. Students can present the slides themselves or you can share them.
Here’s how I’m using all of the virtual parent-teacher conference materials, but you can use any or all of the following:
- Customize the Conference Sign-Up and Pre-Conference Parent Questionnaire and email parents the links to fill out.
- Share the Student Reflection slides in Google Classroom for each student to complete. They’ll reflect on their feelings about school, their strengths and goals, behavior and work habits, and they can even link digital work that they’re proud of.
- Customize the Conference Slides and make a copy for each student. Fill in each student’s strengths, goals, work habits, test scores, links to work, and more.
- Project the Conference Slides during the virtual conference to guide your discussion and update parents on their child’s progress. Share the Student Reflection slides or have students attend the conference and share themselves.
- After the conference, share the Conference Slides link with parents and remind them to follow the “how to help at home” part of the Action Plan that was co-created during the conference.