Conducting the Parent Conference

This course provides teachers and administrators with persuasive and effective strategies for conferencing with parents, including uncooperative or difficult parents. This 7-step interview using the 7-Cs of communication will move parents toward becoming committed participants in the goal of solving their child’s academic and behavioral challenges. Teachers and administrators will learn how the Safety, Order and Rights value set provides a firm and logical foundation for setting goals and finding solutions.

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Conducting the Parent Conference


Check out what other teachers from your area and across the country are saying about this course.

Arizona | California


The Seven Steps were all very valuable and this is a good approach to handling a parent conference. The 7 Steps were very strategic and well thought out and if they are followed in order each time it will give a teacher or administrator the confidence needed to achieve their goal. I think the most valuable step was 7 because there are times you are faced with confrontations that it seems you want to defend yourself and just be done. To take it a step farther and suggest what could happen due to the parents’ resistance helps them visualize the negative or unfortunate consequences that could occur. I think the Safety, Order, and Rights Value Set is very helpful and should be practiced in all schools. Not only does it emphasize the positive outcome if followed it also gives us a defense when we try to explain to parents about the behavioral problems from their child. Parents need to have examples and the bigger picture because not all problems just effect their child. (AZ)


I am committed to the Safety, Order and Rights value set. It sums up what our commitments and priorities are to our children. The 7 step process was extremely helpful, and the outlined worksheet will help me get organized, stay focused and set a tone of confidence. The strategies taught will help me stay focused on the issue and possible solutions. It is respectful for all parties involved and gives a much better opportunity for building strong, positive relationships with our families. When children know we are united and consistent, they will have a better chance of begin successful. (CA)

I am very grateful for the ideas and strategies presented in this course. I work at a school that is about to begin its third year of operation and we are setting new policies and procedures for our school. I am part of the Leadership Team and believe these strategies will be invaluable in helping our teachers build positive relationships with our parents. The most important idea presented is the Safety, Order and Rights value set as it assures parents that we are committed to the well being of their child. I believe I, and our school, have forms and procedures in place to set up parent conferences, but I believe when it came to the actual parent conference it may have seemed more like a trial than an intervention. I appreciated the Constructivist approach to addressing the issues as it builds a “We” culture that is desperately needed in our school. I look forward to implementing these ideas in my classroom. Furthermore, I will use these ideas to conduct a professional development for our faculty. (CA)

I really thought the videos were very valuable. I thought seeing the scenarios being acted out were very helpful. I believe the Safety, Order and Rights value set will be helpful in my classroom. Thinking back I believe that it was reassuring to learn that the teacher does not have to elaborate the reasons for the behavior and defend his/her actions. Stating the expectations (the three value set) and then going back to it after stating the problem is reassuring. As a teacher I have had conferences where I had to provide evidence and so forth. But now I know that using the seven steps, in a way I don’t have to feel valuable. (CA)

I found the components on how to overcome resistance to be the most valuable part of this course. In terms of how I log and track student behaviors and parent contacts, this course reinforced what I already do on a daily basis. I think that the safety, order, and rights value set is already implicitly in place in my classroom and at my school. We promote an orderly, clean school and have high academic expectations while providing extensive academic support so that students can be successful in following the rules. I think that my colleagues have already accepted the value set by promoting positive behavior supports and using cooperative learning to create strong bonds between the students to respect and support one another. We create classrooms where students are dependent upon one another and so they support one another to maintain the appropriate behavior. (CA)

I really found all the ideas very useful. I like the 7-step plan; it is clear and provides the best opportunity for me, as a teacher, to communicate the problem as well as illicit help from the parent. I enjoyed watching the videos; they usually seem a bit staged, but even so they represented real situations and the responses to parents seems entirely appropriate and useful. The methods for handling parent resistance also seem extremely useful. It gives me some really good tools to have on hand during interviews. I also liked the idea that it is ok to end an interview that is being unproductive. (CA)

The most valuable ideas in this course were the seven step plan and the methods to overcoming resistance. I always feel more confident when I have a plan, especially one that has been vetted and I can trust will work. Now that I have this plan at hand and a script for some of my largest behavioral issues, I think I have a much better handle on how to conduct an effective parent conference. But even if I have a plan, that does not mean the parent is going to be cooperative. That is why the paradox method of breaking the parent’s defenses down seems very useful! When we argue, what most of us are looking for is some form of “you’re right,” so if I can give that to them in some way, they may stop looking at the conference as an argument and focus on the goal. I think that the Safety, Order, and Rights value set will be very helpful in my classroom. I have used it to design my rules and consequences, and it will be an easy focal point for my discipline plans and parent conferences. I am looking forward to trying it out this upcoming school year. As for my building…my gigantic high school has had trouble with a unified front as far as rules are concerned. Too many teacher “do their own thing” because they are not willing to change for the greater good. I still plan to bring this back and share it with the administration, and if anyone at all uses it, I think it will be beneficial! (CA)

I really liked and valued most the 7 steps to conducting a parent conference. I have been teaching a long time and it presented a new way for me to conduct the parent conference. I liked how it was set up in very easy steps and it will help prevent teachers from being the blame for behavior problems. It does not make parents feel like they are to blame , but instead sets up a way for the parent and teacher to have a goal of helping the student. It was easy to follow and it creates a more structured conference. I also believe that the Safety,Order and Rights value set makes perfect sense and is something that would be easy for parents to understand and support. I will use it next year when setting up my classroom management system and when I do my parent conferences. (CA)

All of the ideas presented in this course were valuable; therefore the Safety, Order and Rights value set will be helpful in my classroom and those of my colleagues. The Safety, Order and Rights value set is conducive to a productive, learning environment. They highlight the fundamental beliefs that most educators and parents want for their children. They are simple to comprehend yet empowering. Since they cannot (should not) be disputed, they create an opportunity for the educator and parent to work together collaboratively to find a solution. The 7 Steps keeps the conference focused for the educator and the parent. The teacher has to actually prepare for the conference. No more blind, emotional meetings. This will also require the teacher to document student activity so there is support for your position (step #3). In addition, it helps the teacher to stick to the facts and filter out emotion or personal opinions. Too many times I am emotionally swayed by the student or the parent. I began to feel sorry for him or her, especially when the parent or student begins to cry. This procedure allows me to focus more on the behavior and not the person. In addition, the teacher has already created a plan to help the student improve, but he/she elicits suggestions from the parent. This plan allows you to rehearse the conference in advance and to anticipate any objections that may arise. Sometimes I hold conferences and then I never see that parent again. Step #7 requires a follow-up. When the parents know that you are going to follow-up with them on the matter, they are more likely to execute the plan. They know that they have a responsibility as well. The videos were the highlight of the class. It’s one thing to read something or listen to someone explain something, but it’s more meaningful, impressionable to see it in action. The videos were very realistic. (CA)

Learning how to conduct a parent conference emphasizing on the three commitments were the most valuable lesson that I take away from this class. Safety, order, and rights are straight to the point and give direct descriptions to parents on what my job is as an educator in the classroom. By explaining all these three to the parents, the parents also get an idea on what is expected for their child once they enter the school premises. I tried this method just a couple days ago on parent conference with one of my “challenge” student. The parent believed that her child is getting picked on. I put an emphasis on safety because her child always runs around the hall way. Then, I talked about consequences. I believe learning the dialogue like “which commitment would like me to put on hold” was valuable with this particular parent conference. (CA)

The most valuable idea presented here was of course the seven step process of conducting the parent conference. It becomes crucial to have this type of plan when conducting the conference because if not, the conversation can go in so many different ways, and no one gets anywhere. As teachers, we know the importance of having a focus/objective in our lessons, and I realized the importance of having this focus in a parent conference as well. The Safety, Order, and Rights value set will be helpful, in particular the safety value. The student who I wrote about in my journal entires is a student that has been eating in class. Presenting the importance of not eating in class with the parent and student will l be valuable if I present it in this manner. I can communicate with the student and parent that this is a matter of safety. If the student continues to eat in class, there will be rodents in the classroom. There has been cockroaches and mice in some classroom, and this is something I want to avoid for safety reasons. (CA)

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