Parent-teacher conferences

I had the nicest night ever of P-T conferences. Well, also the worst night, but that’s because of some things I learned about families. I love my students even more, knowing what some of them are going through.

Our tables in the library where everyone gathers are really wide, which meant that I couldn’t talk loudly enough across them (my throat is still really tender), so I sat on the other side of the table to meet with parents. Either that changed the setup, or I had a different attitude. I had all the progress reports printed out, and I had a copy of the Jefferson County proficiency levels rubric (in red, here) for all my upper-level kids with pre-written comments. Those copies made it possible for me to have great talks with parents about their kids’ strengths. I was able to talk about how moving to the right of the page takes exponentially more time for each step, and then I could share how kids could do that and how their parents could help (I called up the website to show parents our stories and to suggest they ask their kids to read to them in English while translating from Russian). Parents appreciated this; next time, I hope to have something out for kids to demonstrate their knowledge to their parents. The kids and I will have to prep that together. Sometimes I have had videos of my students running on a screen somewhere. Other times, I’ve had a series of posters with pictures that the kids could explain in Russian out in the hall. I also like to have a poster with kids in pictures for story strips. Then they can tell the story that they were in. But that’s for later. Now I’m going to sleep, thinking of all the nice conversations I had and hoping for the best outcomes for some families. Long day!

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2 responses to “Parent-teacher conferences

  1. Leanna Buckwalter

    This year I gave my French I students a Personal Inventory to fill out, similar to Carol Gaab’s from her TPRStorytelling site. They really bought into it, after I shared my own very personal answers with them. I spent an evening laughing and crying as I read their papers, in late August. I asked What is the best thing that happened to you? What is the worse thing that has happened to you? What is something you wish you could change about yourself? What is your most embarrassing moment? The things they shared… I feel so much more affectionate and compassionate towards this group of kiddos, knowing the things they told me. Carol uses the info for circling and story-asking. I’m using it to get to know them, and I’m trying to use the info to draw them in and add to stories (I’m just a TPRS beginner). Ah, anyway, thanks for sharing about conferences. I usually start by dreading them, and then have great experiences every time.

    Like

    • Leanna,

      TPRS beginner, maybe. Great teacher, obviously. Thanks for the reminder…I have to go back and look at mine. We’re still not through interviews, and I’ve forgotten to look at the other sheets…but man, I did hear some heart-rending stories last night.

      Like

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