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A Meeting On Minds: Better High School Parent-Teacher Conferences

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If you're a high school teacher, you know that keeping your student's parents involved can drastically impact their performance. However, keeping parents involved is far more than just inviting them to a conference night twice a year. Here are ways to improve your parent-teacher conferences by making parents more active partners in their child's high school education.

More than Grades

An overwhelming body of research indicates that parental involvement is a major key to facilitating successful educational outcomes. In today's digital world, parents can access your student's grades with just a few swipes on their smartphones. Thus, it's important to provide them with insights that go beyond grades:

  • Attendance impacts student performance more than just about any other factor. Additionally, attendance records often reflect a student's general presence at school. Parents often don't see the more granular details. Providing parents with access to a weekly or bi-weekly attendance report for your class can help them objectively see the role that attendance might have on their child's academic success.
  • Engagement when students are engaged, they almost always learn. Providing parents with notes about their child's engagement in your class can be uniquely insightful. If you notice they're withdrawn, the parents might provide you with insights to explain the behavior and/or working on correcting the behavior at home.
  • Artifacts can help parents see their child's handwork and creative. Sending an artifact of a particularly important assignment or project via snail mail or email can give parents something specific to discuss with their child about your class.

Providing parents with these insights throughout the school year can make your parent-teacher conferences more specific and informative.

More than Posting

In today's digital landscape, you can post your assignments, due dates, and lectures with one-click of a button. However, posting isn't communicating. If parents aren't communicated with directly, they might miss much of the information you post.

  • Group messages that include both parent and student provide a way for everyone in the group to communicate transparently and efficiently. There are many messaging platforms (Remind, GroupMe, Classdojo, etc.) that make group texting safe and easy. These messaging services protect everyone's personal information (phone numbers, etc.) while providing a seamless platform for communicating. These message services are perfect for sharing due dates, assignment specifications, and other important information, simultaneously, with all parties involved.

Parent-teacher conference must be re-shaped to represent the new digital reality that you teach in. These tips can help you make that adjustment. For more information, contact your local parent-teacher conference scheduling service.