My teachers just (yesterday) finished our first set of parent teacher conferences of the school year. A little late in the school year, but it allowed for the discussion of our students most recent report cards.
Unlike many of the teachers in the school, I only had two scheduled conferences. Although I saw this as a possible opportunity to complete some much needed work, I became easily distracted hearing all the voices and chose to visit the classrooms.
This unprompted wandering allowed for me to participate in some conferences, check on the progress of some conferences, observe teachers interacting with parents and relaying students progress. It also gave me a chance to gauge
parents feelings about the learning atmosphere in the school.
There was also an even larger benefit, parents were also able to observe my interactions and relationships with their children, and it allowed me to create, and improve my relationships with parents.
Personally, I think that parents were able to see that my small school setting has allowed for me, as well as my teachers, to communicate about the progress of many children, even those that they don’t directly teach, thus demonstrating responsibility for all students.
Although having interviews in the evenings, right after school can make for a couple of long days, I believe that the interviews facilitate meaningful parent involvement and ensures that parents are informed about their child(s) learning and development. The relationship building is also an invaluable addition and definitely worth it.