That time of year is approaching again – parent teacher interviews. It can be a busy time for teachers and it’s best to be well prepared. By following these pointers, your upcoming parent teacher conferences will be far more enjoyable.
These tips are divided into 3 sections – what you can do before, during and after your parent teacher interviews.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
– Think about it from the parents’ perspective
Parents are nervous too. Remember that they are a person just like you.
– Anticipate questions parents might ask
Make a list of possible questions that parents might ask you and take some time to think about how you might answer those questions. For a list of questions click here.
– Plan your physical environment
Where will you sit? Where will the parents sit? How do you want your space organised? What will the parents be looking at over your shoulder? Are there any hazards in your space? Are there any potential interruptions/distractions that you can/can’t control?
– Complete your interview proforma
I always prepare for every parent-teacher meeting. I developed an ‘Interview Proforma’ which I have found SO helpful in facilitating effective meetings with parents. (If you’d like a copy of this, just click the download button below. Seriously, it will really help you).
DURING THE INTERVIEW
– Be nice
Think about the first 60 seconds of your meeting with parents. Say hello! Be welcoming! Smile!
– Use the ‘Feedback Sandwich’
Simply put, you start with the bread – something positive and encouraging; then you put in the filling – the student’s behaviour that you need to address; followed by another piece of bread – something positive and encouraging. This is a great little strategy to help you talk through any tricky issues.
– Always, always, always take notes
Taking notes communicates to parents that you are engaged and listening. It gives them visual confidence in your ability to follow through. It is also really helpful for you too – it gives you something to do during the interview and also serves as a reminder for any follow up you need to do.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
– Make some final notes
Take a minute or two to write down some final thoughts and reflections.
– Diligently DO what you said you would do
Make sure you follow through with any commitments you made to the parents. Your diligence in this will ensure you maintain a healthy professionalism in the eyes of the parent.
– Keep communicating with parents
Look for ways to keep connecting with parents. Parents love hearing things about their child.
You CAN have winning parent-teacher interviews by following these steps in planning for before, during and after the interview.
Enjoy the journey,
More importantly, enjoy the moments.
P.S. Want to be super-prepared for your interviews with parents? Download the Parent-Teacher Interview Preparation Proforma by clicking the download button below. It will really help you! I use it for every single parent teacher meeting.
Question: Got some other helpful tips for excellent parent-teacher interviews? Share your comments here.