Saturday, March 29, 2014

Parent-Teacher Interviews Round Two

     On Monday of this week our second round of report cards went home and officially kicked-off spring Parent-Teacher Interview week. Being that we are a K-12 school, our K-7 teachers scheduled and organized their own meetings which ran throughout the week. In the 8-12 end, our school secretary scheduled our meetings for us which were primarily held on Thursday after school and Friday during school-hours (there were no classes on Friday).

     Compared to the 30+ interviews I had first semester, this round was a breeze with only 20. I think last semester I had a lot of interviews because I was new to the staff and hadn't had an opportunity to meet very many families yet. As such, I found that many of my interviews were quite formal. This time around, my interviews were much more relaxed and comfortable.

     While last semester I reflected on the content of my interviews, I never shared any pictures of how I set up for interviews. So, without further adieu, here are some pictures I snapped before interviews got going on Thursday:

parent teacher tips, how to prepare for your first parent-teacher interviews, parent teacher tips
A quick selfie before things got underway.
Rocking my teal blazer & multi-colour top (both from Eclipse)
 in attempts to break the winter-slump!
parent teacher tips, how to prepare for your first parent-teacher interviews, parent teacher tips
I had these tables set up outside my room, along with several chairs, for
parents/guardians/students while they waited.
parent teacher tips, how to prepare for your first parent-teacher interviews, parent teacher tips
This table showcased our Grade 8 Classroom Blog and included
step-by-step instructions on how to access specific student posts as well
as how to access our Classroom Website (used by all students).
parent teacher tips, how to prepare for your first parent-teacher interviews, parent teacher tips
This table held the student folders my students prepared with
exemplars of their work. Each bucket held the folders for each of
my classes and were assembled in alphabetical order.
parent teacher tips, how to prepare for your first parent-teacher interviews, parent teacher tips
I also had displays of student work up along the hallway.
This is an example of a project my Grade 9 Science students completed
regarding genotypes and phenotypes of their theoretical "alien babies".
Each poster included a QR Code that could be scanned in order to
access their research.
     Here is a list of tips I've put together for all of my wonderful student-teacher friends who will be holding their own parent-teacher interviews next year!

TIPS (in no particular order)

- Speak to what was communicated on the report card (both academically
  and behaviourally). This ensures the parent/guardian fully understands
  what the report was telling them.
- Having print-offs of the most current achievement report (including
  report card comments) is a great reminder if you're on your 101st
  interview and can no longer think clearly!
- Write notes to yourself after each interview (if needed) so you can
  follow-up effectively (I would never remember otherwise)
- Have your anecdotal records handy, don't mention behaviours or
  situations that you can't back up with documentation!
- If your discussion warrants a follow-up phone-call make sure you
  note this and put it into your planner after interviews are done, there
  is nothing worse than promising to do something and then forgetting!
- If you are not the right person to talk to regarding a certain situation
  then make sure you direct the parent to the correct person, don't try
  to tackle something that isn't in your area.
- Relax, focus, and take it one interview at a time! :)

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