Student - Family - Community - Educators Conferences

Conferences are moments to celebrate community if they are created as a natural outflow of school community development to support students.

Photo of Denise Suto
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Conferences need to be planned in the scheme of the larger school's goals to connect to families throughout the year or it can become an artificial disruption of the schedule with little participation.  Conferences developed as a formative assessment to support continued learning and growth will create opportunities for students to display not only their successes but how they overcame challenges and what kind of support they (the students) need to continue to develop socially, emotionally, and academically.  This also gives parents an opportunity to share deeply personal moments of pride, concern, and goals.  I've seen families completely transform their schedules and activities with students taking ownership of their goals in response to the support.  Conferences need to be scheduled around the needs of our families (this includes the acknowledgement that teacher have families too).  Coming together at the beginning of the year to include all stake holders in the goals and how to achieve the goals of the conferences can yield some innovative solutions unique to your community.

[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe something you learned from your empathy exercises or analogous research.

I've learned to appreciate empathy and compassion as drivers for learning.

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Photo of Clint Heitz

Denise - Help us develop communities! If you'd be willing, I would greatly appreciate your support for Guideposts to Success by heading to the post and leaving a positive evaluation, as well as suggestions to grow the idea even more! Thank you!

Photo of Jessica Lura

Denise,
Totally agree that parent/teacher conferences should be an opportunity for supporting continued learning and growth.

What stakeholders do you think should be included in the discussion?

Also, love the inclusion of teacher families. What aspects have you come across that teachers have struggled with in regard to parent/teacher conferences?

Photo of Denise Suto

Thank you Jessica!

We've found that having multiple teachers, support staff, coaches or club mentors, and family members which may include a friend of the family who is important to the student is helpful.  Having the cross section of people involved in a student's life who see different aspects of their life is very helpful.  However, getting all of the folks in one space may mean that you re-envision the conferences to be a rolling event rather than artificially crammed into a one week marathon event.  Teacher with families struggle to meet the needs of their own families and the schedules of parents.  We have our own families to pick up from day care, school, have dinner with and sometimes are care takers of parents.  The school that acknowledged this reality and thanked families regularly was a very appreciative environment.