Preschool Parent teacher conferences are a great opportunity to collaborate with parents. Conferences give you a chance to share all of the progress their preschooler has made, as well as a chance to discuss any concerns. These conferences should also be used as a time to develop new goals for your preschoolers.
PURPOSE OF FALL AND SPRING CONFERENCES
Fall Parent Teacher Conference
The Fall Conference exists to help build the relationship between teacher and parents, and to start a dialogue about their goals and how to meet them through the school year.
This is an excellent time to reiterate how we work on the “Whole Child” with their Social, Emotional, Physical and Cognitive Skills, and that we want their child to be solid and have the best foundation to prepare them for their future.
Spring Parent Teacher Conference
The Spring Conference is a perfect opportunity for parents to discuss their preschooler’s progress and the future schooling choices for their child.
As your Winter Assessments will be completed, you’ll have a good handle on how far their child has progressed from the fall, as well as what skills need to be worked on until the end of the school year. This would be an appropriate time to share how the parents can help at home to help their child get to where they need to be by the end of the year.
SCHEDULE PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES
Create a conference schedule by going to Sign-Up Genius and filling out the schedule (allow for 15 minutes per student).
At the beginning of the month, send parents an email (or add a link to your newsletter) so they can go online and schedule a conference. If parents ask to schedule a different conference time, it’s up to you if you want to accommodate them or not.
PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE OUTLINE
- Welcome, greet families warmly, ask them to sit down.
- 10 minutes: Review
If you need to discuss some things their child is struggling with, be sure to sandwich the comments: Start with what their child is doing well with, then what they need help with, then other things they’re doing well.
- Last 5 minutes: Ask if they have any questions
PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE TIPS
1. SET OUT TOYS FOR CHILDREN
Set up your conference areas with toys on the circle rug, and 2 adult chairs in front of your conference table
2. BE ON TIME
Your preschool should run like a well-oiled machine, with lots of different variables in play. Just as your pickups/drop-offs are always on time, so should conferences. Have a clock on the table.
3. BE PREPARED
Being adequately prepared for parent teacher conferences will ensure that your conferences run smoothly and you do not leave any important information out. In order to properly plan in advance you must set a specific time frame for each conference. Then, you will be able to plan how you want the conferences to go step by step with a rough timeline.
If you send home a questionnaire to your preschoolers’ parents asking them about any questions or concerns they may have, you can also prepare how you will address those issues. Having a copy of the child’s developmental progress notes available for the parents will also help guide your discussion regarding any developmental concerns.
4. GET THE KIDS INVOLVED
Preschoolers love to show their parents what they do it at preschool. Let the child show their parents around the classroom before really getting the conference started. They can show them the artwork that is displayed throughout the classroom and you can even have them pick out their favorite learning center to show off to their parents.
Then, you can all sit down to look at the authentic assessment of their preschooler that you have created. After that, another provider should come to take the child to another room or outside to play while you and their parents talk.
5. HAVE SOMETHING TO SHOW THEM
Having something visual to display the child’s progress is really helpful when talking to parents. The best form of authentic assessment that works well for this is a portfolio. Portfolios are full of photos, quotes, and written observations of their child.
Your preschoolers will love showing these to their parents, too. This is a fantastic way to show parents how their child has progressed over time in all developmental domains.
6. LEAD WITH THE POSITIVE
During preschool parent teacher conferences you want to highlight the positives. Show off all of the child’s strengths and how much they have progressed throughout the school year. Of course, any developmental concerns that you have must be discussed with the parents, but they do not need to be the focus of the entire conference.
You should be prepared to address concerns you have briefly with at least a basic plan for addressing the concerns prepared. Then you and the parents can collaborate together on how best to support the child in the classroom and at home.
Preschool parent teacher conferences are a great time to get to know your preschoolers’ families on a deeper level. Most days you only see your preschoolers’ parents briefly at drop off and pick up times, so use this time to make meaningful connections with them. Also, be sure to listen to any concerns the parents may have and answer all of their questions.
After a successful preschool parent teacher conference, everyone should be on the same page and feel good about moving forward.