Hello. For some reason, this turned out to be some kind of frantic day for me. I was bringing back a lot of work from home to school this morning, and I knew I was getting a new student and he might come to my room first. And yes, he did. But then I just had the worst time finding things. Like my list of times for parent teacher conferences. And the math facts page each of my students is working on. And on and on it went.
Anyway, first impressions. Can't change 'em, can you? So my new student comes with his aunt and Just Won't Even Talk! So I'm trying to decide if he's nervous, not bilingual at all, or what is going on. When we come back to the room with the class and I show him our library and tell him to grab a book to read - he goes over and comes back with -- Nothing! And there were a couple other similar things. Well, thank heavens, by the end of the day, he was talking and joining in. I think the big ice-breaker was that he was able to do the hands-on math activity I had the class doing.
My Parent/Teacher conferences are Tuesday night, all day Thursday and very early Friday morning. So I want to give one little hint that I do at Parent/Teacher conferences. Maybe some of you already do this. I open a Word file and I just go down my list of students and I write their name and anything I can think of. Maybe it's a concern - like, they are just not getting their math facts down, or they go to the bathroom several times more than any one else in class, or their handwriting is terrible. Or maybe I think right away of some way they have been super nice, or helpful, or done a good job on something. So my first go around is just my first thoughts. Then I go through this list several more times. If I have a student that I've only written down a concern for, then I try to write a couple positive things that I see.
How does this help me? Well, I'm pretty forgetful. I surely don't want a conference to be finished, a parent gone out the door, when I remember - oh, yeah, I meant to say. The other thing is this helps me remember good things for all my students. This year, it isn't as hard, but one year, I remember about the only good thing I could say about one of my kiddos was - good handwriting. Yuck, that's terrible!!
What do you do to plan for conferences? How do you make sure you say everything you want to?