We are gearing up to meet with ALL 19 of our families next week to share the great things their kiddos are accomplishing this year! That's right, ALL of them! How you say? ALL...of them? Keep reading! :)
We thought we would take a minute to give you a few tips that have worked out really well for us in getting EVERY SINGLE ONE of our families in for this important event!
The BEST thing we EVER did was to begin using this "You Pick 3" conference sign up sheet. We don't have scheduled time off to hold our conferences, so we just choose 3 days that work out for us. We include as many time slots as possible where we can be available to meet with families. We always try to include some early morning times for our families that can't take off work or who are just coming in from the night shift. We schedule slots during our specials classes (music, pe...) and then plenty of after school time slots as well. We try to have at least 1 late night where we have conferences scheduled for 5:00 or later for our working parents who hit us on their way home. (This year my own kiddos have football EVERY DANG night, so I couldn't schedule any that ran TOO late, but in years past I have scheduled them as late as 6:30.)
Now I know this might seem like a BIG time commitment from you...and it is! BUT, and this is a BIG but, this is truly one of the BEST ways you could ever possibly spend your teacher time! It always breaks my heart a teeny bit when the only time some parents hear from us is when something is WRONG! Conferences give you the opportunity to REALLY connect with families and share some of the GREAT things happening with their kiddo. Of course not ALL the news will be good news, but we can definitely take this opportunity to FIND the good and share!
And we promise it will SO be worth your time. You will make some serious partners in educating your kiddos when you build these strong family ties! And let's be honest, who doesn't LOVE to hear how awesome their kiddo is???
We have been able to get nearly 100% participation in our conferences for the last several years.
We LOVE the question and comment section too! This encourages families to reflect on how their child is doing and what things THEY would like to discuss as well! Everyone is VESTED!
And if you do have some families that DON'T sign up, we tweak the letter to say this:
Please find your scheduled conference time below. I appreciate everyone returning the sign-up sheets so promptly. I was able to give nearly everyone their first or second time preference. If you are unable to attend at the scheduled time, please let me know as soon as possible to reschedule.
If you do not see your name below, I did not receive a conference sign-up sheet. Please rank your time preferences (1,2,3) from the remaining times below. If you would prefer to have a phone conference, please make a note of that in the comment box below. Thanks!!! See you in 2 weeks! - Cristy Fogle 10-10-13
Then it's time to get ready for all the parents heading your way! To make it a bit easier, we start with the electronic form below. We set up the basic format we want and then change a bit here and there to match each kiddo. For example, each record says: "Math: Number Sets - counting sets to___" and we change this portion for each child. Same goes for: "Reading/Phonics: Knows ___ upper and lowercase letters". We just add in how many they know.
The comment section is always very individualized, as is the goal section!
So we hope these tips help you get ALL of your families in to share your kiddo's great learning with them!
We will be more than happy to email out either of these forms if you would like to tweak them to fit your style! Just leave us a comment with your email address and we'll shoot them out!