This week is parent conference week for my fifth grade cluster. My partner teacher and I are meeting with almost all families and many students to discuss the year's accomplishments and goals to come.
Families take the time out of their busy schedules to meet with us. Many make a point of sharing the year's highlights and remaining/new goals. It's our job to listen and respond as well share and point out a students' strengths and goals.
Students took pride in creating their showcase portfolios. The portfolios include a nice cover, reflections, and signature work. These books provide a good reference point for the conference. We also share general information related to students' latest standardized or system-wide assessments and next year's move to the Middle School.
As an educator we want to serve every child well. The key to good conferences is knowing the child well, sharing student work, and being open minded to parents' questions and considerations. No one on the learning team has all the answers and that's why we have to work together to navigate the year for happy, successful learning.
Parent conferences add time to the teaching/learning year with regard to preparation and meeting time, yet these face-to-face meetings are wonderfully positive when it comes to teaching children well.