A Note from Principal Tony Byers: November 2019

Dear Families, 

You will have your first family conference with your child’s teacher in November. Recently, Debra Gadsden-Holiday, our Early Reading Interventionist and long-time first and second grade teacher, and Lauren Morse, our Family Liaison, presented at a Coffee Talk on partnering with your child’s teacher. They shared tips on how to get the most out of your 20-minute conference. Here is what they shared:

The Conference “Mindset”
  • Remember that we are in this work together, for the benefit of your child, but also for the benefit of all children in our community, too. 
  • Creating a partnership takes work and shared responsibility. Children benefit when teachers and families assume positive intentions, honor expertise, practice active listening, and commit to following through on agreed upon plans. 
  • Parenting is hard work! Teaching is hard work! Conferences are short, which makes it even more important to take a moment to thank each other. 
What to Expect During a Conference 
  • The format of your conference will be different depending on the teacher, but you can expect the following:
    -Overview of your child’s social, emotional, and academic development
    -Sharing important information (families and teachers)
    -Looking at your child’s work
    -Voicing concerns or areas for improvement (families and teachers)
    -Setting goals 
  • The school has limited space during the day, so pay careful attention to where you are meeting. It might be in an unusual space. 
Getting the Most Out of Your Conference 
  • Be on time! Better yet, arrive early. Conferences are often scheduled back-to-back. Teachers cannot extend conference times without taking away time from families after you. 
  • Be prepared. Talk to your child before the conference and ask questions. When do they feel successful in class? What do they find challenging? Look over any work the teacher sends home. 
  • Come with 2 or 3 questions. Write your questions down and bring them with you. You will probably forget your questions as you hear new information. 
After Your Family Conference 
  • If you agreed on a plan, follow through and stay in touch.
  • Contact the teacher if you have any questions or need clarification. 
  • Talk to your child about what you learned and remember to praise her for things she is doing well!
The family-teacher partnership is critical for student success. And conferences are an important moment in building this partnership. As always, thank you for all you do to support your child’s learning and our school community!

Best,

Tony
 

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