Focus On!

Conducting the Parent Conference:

This course provides teachers and administrators with persuasive and effective strategies for conferencing with parents, including uncooperative or difficult parents. The 7-step interview will move parents toward becoming committed participants in the educational process and/or solutions for helping their child overcome challenges and barriers to learning in the classroom.

Summer is a great time to take this course and learn the strategies and skills to be prepared for the new school year.  Since all CE Credits Online courses allow you perpetual access, you will be able to review the skills anytime you schedule a conference or meeting with any parent.

The benefits of parent involvement are clear: A growing body of research shows that successful parent involvement improves not only student behavior and attendance but also positively affects student achievement. Yet many schools continue to struggle with defining and measuring meaningful parental involvement, and many don’t feel that their efforts are successful. A recent survey of American teachers revealed that 20 percent of new teachers and nearly one fourth of principals identify their relationships with parents as a cause of significant stress in their jobs (MetLife, 2005).

Schools and classrooms with involved parents engage those parents, communicate with them regularly, and incorporate them into the learning process.  A 2003 analysis of more than 25 public opinion surveys by Public Agenda, a nonpartisan public opinion research organization, found that 65 percent of teachers say their students would do better in school if their parents were more involved.  Many teachers report feeling unprepared to effectively involve parents.

There are a number of ways schools and teachers can work to involve parents more deeply in their child’s learning, however, successfully communicating with parents is not just the first step, but a skill that deserves attention and honing, since it will always be at the heart of the relationships you develop with your students’ parents.  This course focuses primarily on those communications around parent/teacher conferences, scheduled or unscheduled.  Learning how to plan for your meetings and communications to ensure you are getting and receiving the most you can from your interactions will significantly change the outcome. With a little practice, and using the strategies in this course, you will find you are able to successfully guide your conversations.

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