Greetings to you from your friends and neighbors at the UAS MS, and welcome to the annual Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences! WOOHOO!! Yes, it’s that time once again for parents to visit with their child’s teachers and hear the latest news about the current progress that is being made toward achieving personal goals and academic success.
The following points are some general reminders about the spring version of the parent/student/teacher conferences:
• The conferences will be held on Wednesday, April 27 from 1 to 6 PM, and on Thursday, April 28 from 8 AM to 12 PM.
• Each conference will last 10 minutes and be held within each teacher’s classroom
• We strongly encourage you to bring your student(s) to these meaningful conversations, as it is our goal to host “student involved conferences”. Because the discussions are about the students, we believe student participation is crucial in order for the students to achieve academic improvement and success.
• Please keep in mind that each of the MS core teachers has approximately 100 students. With the scheduled breaks the teachers need during the conferences, there are only 48 time slots available for each teacher to host a conference. As a result, if you have recently held a conference with a particular teacher, you are kindly asked to consider scheduling a meeting with that teacher at a later date to address questions or concerns. Your cooperation would be appreciated. If you are unable to schedule a conference during this time frame, you are welcome to email Ms. Suzanne Makaram, email@example.com our amazing Administrative Assistant, and schedule an appointment at a time after April that is convenient for you and the teacher.
In addition to the reminders above, I want to share some tips about attending the conferences as well. Hopefully this information will be of help to you. Please note that some of the following information is borrowed from the Harvard Family Research Project.
Let’s be clear: as a parent, you are your child’s first, and frankly speaking, your child’s most important teacher. It is also important to note that you and the staff of the UAS Middle School have something in common: we both want your middle schooler to learn, grow, and do well in school. With that in mind, I offer the following tips, which are suggestions as to how you can make the most of the conference experience so that everyone wins – especially your child!
Before the conferences:
• Sit with your child and review their report card and work samples if they are available.
• Talk with your child about his or her progress in school and try to discover any concerns, or pathways for growth.
• Make a list of questions you want to ask the teachers during the conferences.
• Think about how you can best work with the teachers to support your child at home.
What does an effective conference include?
• Find out about your child’s current academic progress. Feel free to ask questions like: Is my child performing at grade level? What do you see as his or her strengths? Or, how can he/she improve?
• If the teacher does not provide samples, please feel free to ask for examples of your child’s work.
• I realize there are only 10 minutes for each conference, but to the greatest degree possible, please share your thoughts and feelings about your child. Explain to the teacher what you feel your child is good at, and where you feel more help is needed.
• Ask what you can do at home to help support the academic growth of your child. Feel free to ask the teacher how they plan to both challenge and support your child when they need it most.
Meaningful Follow Up
After the conferences are over, what can you do to help ensure that your child has the best opportunity to realize academic improvement between now and the end of the school year?
• Make a plan. Write down the things you and the teacher will do to support your middle schooler. This can be accomplished during the conferences or immediately after. Don’t hesitate to check in with the teacher over the last two months.
• Open the lines of communication between you and the teacher, and feel free to ask what type of communication works best for the teacher. If in the future, you have a question, or want to check in with the teacher, should you: call, email, or call and make an appointment with the MS office? Speak with the teacher, and make a plan that works best for both of you.
• The most important point to remember is that the conferences are about your child, so please feel free to bring them with you to meet the teachers! As I mentioned earlier, this batch of conferences are intended to be “student involved”. At the very least, after the conferences are over, share with your child the information you gathered during the conferences. Show your child how you intend to work with the teachers to help them be more successful, and specifically how you intend to support them at home. Ask your son or daughter for their suggestions.
Thank you for your time and attention to these points. We look forward to meeting and greeting you during the annual parent(student)/teacher conferences on April 27 and 28.
That’s the news from your neighbors in the middle. Thanks for reading, and remember…Middle School Matters!!