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5 Tips for Great Parent-Teacher Conferences

Author: Guest | Blog |

We are well into parent-teacher conference season, and although some classrooms have already had theirs, we wanted to share some of our favorite best practices to get the most out of your conversations with parents.

Show, don’t just tell

The best way to engage an audience of any kind is to tell a story, and the best stories have pictures!
Use this opportunity to share with parents how their student has done so far, and include examples of student work.

In Otus, all of this information comes together on the student profile. This is where important information and data about a student’s attendance, participation, behavior, and grades are easily accessed and displayed. If the goal is to share with parents a holistic view of their student’s performance up to this point, the student profile is a great place to start.

Create space for conversation

At Otus, team members and their team lead have bi-weekly 1-on-1 conversations… Both participants understand that it is an opportunity for an open communication and an exchange of information. The same can and should apply to parent conferences, where the teacher has just as much to learn from the parent and vice-versa.

In order to enable this two-way communication, the student profile includes a section where teachers can add notes about a student. These notes are time-stamped and can be looked back on any time in the future. This is a great place for teachers record parent feedback and information about the student.

Invite the student

Encourage students to come along with the parents to the meeting and let them show the parents and teacher around Otus. By navigating around Otus and showing their knowledge and favorite parts of the system, parents will be able to see a visual representation of how engaged the student is in class. Have the students share work that they have added to their portfolio, standards progress in the gradebook, positive recognitions earned in classes, and their Learner Profile/Thrively results (if they have taken the assessment).

Make growth the context

A growth mindset acknowledges that each student is at a different place in their learning, and their success is determined by their own personal growth, not comparing themselves to others. Sharing this mindset with parents helps re-enforce this idea at home, so that students know they can improve their skills in any subject, and that the effort makes them stronger. This is the best way for a child to really flourish!

Get your families on on Otus

These conferences are a great opportunity to introduce families to the edtech tools their student uses in class. With Otus, it’s an also an opportunity to sign family members up with their own account. They’ll be able to link their Family account to their student’s Otus account and view their student profile no matter what time of year it is.

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