Do you attend parent conferences? Parent conferences are a crazy time for this SLP, but it’s worth it to be able to connect with parents in person. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of conferences…
1. Make a Schedule
At my school I’ve had five conferences scheduled in the same 30-minute block. When I’m making my schedule, I prioritize which students I need to see. I write them in my schedule that way so that I don’t have to stress about that piece when I’m running from class to class.
I create an Excel worksheet to keep track of my conference schedule. I type the schedule into the worksheet and include relevant information (e.g. student, parent, teacher, conference date/time). I like using Excel, because it is easy to make changes, and it helps me keep track of what I need. It’s not the prettiest document ever, but it is a huge time-saver. Check out this blog post to see how I use Excel to keep myself organized!
2. Give Them Something to Take Home
Parents are being bombarded with information at conferences, so be sure to provide the parents with something to take home. I also include my contact information on these sheets so that they can contact me with any questions. Progress reports always coincide with parent conferences, so I just bring a copy of their progress report. Join me next week for progress report tricks!
3. Take Action!
I provide parents with at least one resource to help their students continue to make progress at home. To be completely honest, I struggle with parent follow-through, but it’s so important. I try my best, and I have some new ideas in the works! In the meantime check out Nicole’s Parent Teacher Conference Forms or Jenna’s parent handouts for some inspiration! Natalie Snyders also has a helpful freebie.
4. Involve Students
For my older students, I like to have them take charge and explain what they’re working on in speech. This is something we work really hard on! I bring in my Progress Monitoring Decks, so my students can refer to their goal cards and brag tags. We also use visuals from my Progress Monitoring Kit. It’s amazing to see students share their progress with their parents.
5. Organize Your Materials
I create a mini packet with each student’s progress report and a resource to share with parents (e.g., activity ideas for home). I sort the packets by day/time. There’s nothing better than seeing that pile shrink!
I also print off the Excel sheet so I know the exact times for each conference. Oh, and I also bring my Parent Communication Labels, in case I need to take notes (read all about them here).
Hope this was helpful! Be sure to share your favorite parent conference tips in the comments.
And here is my scope!
[…] As I mentioned before, parent conferences are a great time to touch base with parents. I shared my favorite tips and tricks for these meetings here! […]