«

»

Get the Most Out of Your Next Parent Teacher Interview; Tips for Success

Parent/Teacher/Child Interview

Parent/Teacher/Child Interview (Photo credit: Kathy Cassidy)

Parent teacher interviews can often be a time of extreme stress for teachers and parents.  Teachers are often concerned about what they will say to parents, how they will say it and how parents will respond.  Parents often dread hearing news from teachers that their children are not perforning well or about a myriad of other problems linked to their children.  Parent-teacher interviews are short (usually 15 minutes) and can leave both teachers and parents feeling a little stressed.

To support teachers and parents, one way around the traditional ” how is my child doing?, why are their marks low?, and they aren’t like this at home” interview is to plan and structure the conversation around the learning beliefs and practices of the school.

For example, one of the main focus areas over the past year in our school has been goal setting.  We have adopted goal setting as an effective learning strategy based on research.  With the shift over the past several years to including formative assessment, student goal setting has been found to be highly effective in supporting students in academic achievement.  In  his book Visible Learning (p. 164) John Hattie summarizes that the right kind of student goal setting can have a positive affect on student learning;

“… goals inform individuals as to what type or level of performance is to be attained so that they can direct and evaluate their actions and efforts accordingly.” pp.164

Student goal setting works best when the parent, the teacher and the student work together to develop goals.  Thought is given as to:

  • where the student is currently functioning;
  • what level of achievement would challenge the student;
  • who would support the student in what way;
  • when progress toward the goal would be tracked or monitored.

As Goal Setting has been a significant part of our daily work, structuring our parent teacher interview around goal setting seemed a perfect fit.

Together, with the amazing staff and collegiality at Erin Woods School, our discussions around using parent teacher interviews to support our work on student goals developed.  We created a protocol for the interview, for teachers to follow, to focus the interview around the critical essence of our goal setting focus.

Parent / Teacher Interview

Name:                                                                                   Date:

 

Purpose: The purpose of this Parent Teacher interview is to look at the term ahead and consider goals and areas of growth for the student.  Additionally, teachers and parents will define and articulate their planto support the learner.

 

IRIS

         Right now in IRIS you have set the goal of :

How are you doing with that goal?

What is helping you to achieve that goal?

Are you still working on that goal or should we adjust or change it in any way?

 

TYPE NEW GOAL IN IRIS

 

How can parents help you?

How can teachers help you?

How can you help yourself?

 

RC OR IPP

           I have also identified this area of growth for you (on your report card or IPP):

I will be helping you by:

What ways will you be working on this goal?

 

With a structured conversation for the Parent Teacher Interview the following results are expected:

  • Teachers can plan and prepare for the conversation based on the purpose and the outline;
  • Students can be prepared to share the necessary information with their parents (no surprises);
  • Parents become partners in our work, rather than stand bys who we report to causing everyone to be focussing on our beliefs and direction;
  • In this particular protcol, the focus is forward looking, “here is what your child will be doing and here is how I will help.” Leaving parents with a sense of hope and achievement for the next term.
  • We have clear documentation of each parent teacher interview.

 With this process, we are noticing teachers looking forward to their parent interviews,  There is no ambiguity or surprises,  thus leaving teachers confident and prepared, and parents hopeful and happy with things to come. 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share

4 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. Shira Leibowitz

    This is among the most innovative ideas in elementary education I have read about in years!!!!! Goal setting as a team of parents, teacher, and students with both support and ownership for students has the potential to strengthen learning dramatically. You have my head spinning with the possibilities. I hope you’ll continue to update on progress with student goal setting. Thank you for sharing this insight!

  2. Lori Cullen

    Thanks for the feedback Shira. I look forward to hearing about your ideas! We really like what we are doing in this area – we have plans to continue to grow and refine our processes.

  3. Jennifer Geoge

    Hi Lori and Happy New Year! I love that you are using Iris in such an authentic way with parents. As a member of the Iris team from its conception the potential of the application never ceases to amaze me. I did my first ever practicum out at your school (way back in the day) and it was an amazing place for students then. Although I have not been out to the school in a few years, I hear often about the amazing work your students and staff are doing :-)
    How did parents respond to the new format for your interviews?

    1. Lori Cullen

      Thanks Jennifer, great to connect with you here on my blog! The parent teacher interviews were fabulous however we found we tried to cram too much into 15 minutes. The IRIS platform was very well received by parents. Feel free to drop by the school anytime!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


7 − three =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Follow Me