Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy November! Time for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Well, happy November, which means one thing for many of us: time for parent-teacher conferences! Just like on The Simpsons, we'll be preparing for Let's Share the Blame Fest Fall 2011 for the next couple of weeks as the first report cards see the light of day and the honeymoon period concludes (if it hasn't concluded for you already).

My own parent-teacher conference season has started off with a bang, as one set of parents has already blown off two (!) appointments I made with them. It seems that perhaps they don't share my sense of urgency about a child who is failing every class and has missed fourteen days of school (so far!, but the year is young!!!).

This year, I'll be keeping a Google Translate tab open on my web browser next to my online gradebook for my substantial percentage of non-English speaking parents. I also resolve, as always, to do less talking and let the students dig their own graves explain the situation for themselves and propose workable solutions. I've gotten much better at this with meeting one-on-one with students; let's see how well I do when other adults are in the situation.

Here's a link to my old post on parent-teacher conferences for complete novices. And here's my previous year's reflection on student-centered conferences. As always, please add your own tips, fears, irrational anxieties, and horror stories in the comments.
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