Back-to-school time is here. It’s time to start thinking about how to make the most of parent-teacher conferences.
Although being able to collaborate and develop relationships with parents is important, conference night can sometimes leave both parties feeling unsatisfied due to the rushed nature and limited time frame of the event.
Search Institute’s extensive work with families has given us some insights into how to help teachers to build relationships with parents and caregivers. We also have some tips for ensuring the discussion on conference night is productive and intentional.
Not everyone loves the term “learning loss,” but we’ve heard it often since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted everything about education—and life. Many people and their families lost out on essential social and emotional learning opportunities because of the need to keep people safe from the virus. Or because we honestly didn’t know what was safe.
We’re all glad that most classes are back in person after the many waves of the pandemic. But we also had to learn ways to stay connected using technology. And some of these communications tactics proved very helpful.
We developed a series of virtual check-ins that are useful for leaders and practitioners who work with young people and their parents and guardians. These check-ins provide prompts on the following topics:
These check-ins don’t take the place of parent-teacher conferences, but they do provide insight into these important relationships, and they can continue to be employed as a supplement to in-person meetings.
When conference time rolls around, how can we use a positive youth development framework to have productive conversations with young people and their parents and guardians?
We have some tips for educators who hope to make the most out of conferences:
All of these tips are based on our relationship-centered approach to working with young people and their families. Family engagement was already challenging before the pandemic had us all struggling to keep up with health, bills, technology, and stress.
However, many educators are learning fresh approaches to engaging families by centering the families’ strengths and building systems to support these critical partnerships.
When educators, students, and families all work in partnership using a shared language, so much more is possible.