It’s that time of year when parents and teachers have opportunity to communicate and collaborate on their students’ academic progress. Here are five important components that are part of every great parent/teacher conference:

  • Eyes – Have eyes on the information.Both parent and teacher should have good information and data with respect to performance on tests, quizzes, projects, and presentations. How has Johnny performed in these different types of evaluations? Is there a certain kind of question or concept with which he struggles? How is he doing in class and at home? Do we see anything in his work or behavior that gives us pause…that we can celebrate…that we can encourage?
  • Ears – Have ears open and attentive.The old adage of the ratio of ears to mouths applies. Both parent and teacher need to listen twice as much as they speak. Hearing from one another what the other sees and perceives in the work and behavior of the student is critical.
  • Hands – Have hands clasped together in partnership.It’s true that it does indeed “take a village” to raise a child. A school is a partner with parents in the education of their children. A great parent/teacher conference is a communication in partnership with all parties working for and in concert with one another.
  • Feet – Have feet ready to carry out the plan.A great parent/teacher conference will typically result in a few definite action plans to improve or develop learning. Whatever those plans or action items are, all parties need to plan for execution and follow through.
  • Heart – Have a heart full of love for the student.In the end, we are holding, shaping, and discipling Johnny’s heart, mind, and soul. All our plans, actions, and steps are resounding clangs if they are not working toward his good in love.

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