The Effective Parent-Teacher Conference

"Stop the Parent Stress!" Academic and Disciplinary Meetings

Have you ever found yourself worrying about an upcoming parent-teacher conference, or saying:

I want parents to work with me, not against me!"

You don't have to dread interaction with Mom and Dad. You can look forward to calling home any time without worrying about parent matter what news you need to deliver.

And I've got everything you need, right here, in this collection of articles!

A "Parent-Child-Teacher" Team

Parent-teacher conference

The key is getting involved up front with all of your parents well before you need to call them (or call on them) with difficult news or to help out with a situation (either positive or negative).

This is how we form strong, stress-free bonds from the first day of school that last all year long.

It's not exactly like maintaining friendships... it's more like keeping peace in your family, no matter what mix of personalities and agendas exist.

Think: Thanksgiving dinner (but it lasts all year!).

My background: Both "mom" and "teacher"

I've been on the "other side" as a parent of elementary-age children. I received my share of negative news, so I know what teacher communication (i.e. "judgment!") feels like.

There's no guilt like the guilt of a mother whose child-raising skills are being questioned!

And I've been on the teacher side, with trepidation about delivering difficult news to adults who were strangers. I've sat through hundreds of parent-teacher conferences as a recipient and as a leader.

NOTE: I've got insights on both teacher-led and student-led academic conferences.

With a few, easy-to-implement best practices for parent relationship building, so you can put aside any fears about talking to them and form those close bonds that alleviate stress from your day.

Obtaining support and reinforcement at home

When you don't have to worry about Mom and Dad's reactions, your behavior management moves forward without stalling. But you have to know...

  • How to compliment students when talking to their parents
  • How to show that you give their child every chance to succeed
  • How to call parents about behavior so they remain on your team

Real-world examples you can hear

Hear an audio example of a bad phone call so you don't antagonize parents when you don't mean to. Plus, see and hear examples of great phone discussions about difficult topics.

Hear how to get your message across without raising emotional barriers.

Here's just one sample from this section:

Click to

The Effective Parent-Teacher Conference

Here's a few of the topics I cover in this section:

  • How giving parents "homework" can help manage behavior issues and build support at home
  • How to run a face-to-face meeting...and what you can expect when delivering difficult news in person
  • How to use the "velvet hammer" and focused positive feedback to keep your credibility as a fair child advocate

Plus even more "been there, done that" tips:

  • How to create a classroom newsletter that actually gets read by parents
  • How make e-mails and notes home effective so you get the intended effect
  • When to have kids make the call home and how to manage it

Let's get down to business...

...building strong relationships with the greatest influences in our students' lives!

Teacher Letters to Parents

Remember...sending home a positive note
about great behavior is a super idea

Notes, Newsletters & Emails A teacher letter to parents can take many forms, but they all have the purpose of cementing your strong parent-teacher relationship. There are some pitfalls to parent communication however. In this lesson, we learn how to avoid weak links in our communication … [Read more...]

Parent-Teacher Conference

"Missus Weigle? I've heard a lot about ya."

1-on-1 Meetings about Student Behavior A parent-teacher conference isn't just a twice-annual-event for reviewing schoolwork. Parent phone calls are the most-common means of communication, but sometimes a one-on-one meeting is in order. This can be nerve-wracking for teachers who have never … [Read more...]

Preserving the Parent-Teacher Relationship


Student Behavior Conversations The parent-teacher relationship can withstand conversations about poor behavior...if we use the right tone of voice and phrases. In this article, I talked about the 6 keys for effectively handling difficult conversations. Now I'll put some words to these steps to … [Read more...]

Delivering News About Student Behavior


6 Steps to Delivering News About Poor Student Behavior The teacher-parent relationship will be strained when we communicate about poor student behavior. In this article, I reviewed "when" to call parents. Now I address "how"...and how is critical. There are some very important … [Read more...]

When To Call Parents About Student Behavior


Partnering with Parents Teacher-parent relationships are most critical when student behavior at school is an issue. A friendly, profession relationship with mom and dad is a foundation for student success...but how do we maintain that type of relationship when delivering bad news? It's very … [Read more...]

Positive Parent & Teacher Communication

The number-one influence in a child's life

Tough Cases: Involving Reluctant Parents Parent-teacher communication and the involvement of mom and dad is a critical part of any classroom discipline plan, as outlined on the pages about investigating causes and escalation/involving parents ...whether they want to be involved or not. This page … [Read more...]

Parent-Teacher Communication Builds Strong Relationships

Make the first move

Partnering with Parents Parent-teacher communication is second only to the student-teacher communication in a successful classroom. Teachers are in partnership with parents to create the best possible education for kids. Do those statements seem kind of obvious? For many teachers, they … [Read more...]