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Parent-teacher conferences are important for parents, teachers and students. Kim McDowell, an assistant professor of education at Wichita State University, explains how parent-teacher conferences can be useful to all parties and why they're important throughout the child's education.
Announcer: Parent/teacher conferences can play an important role in the educational process. Kim McDowell, an assistant professor of education at Wichita State University, says the parent/teacher conference is all about communication and collaboration and establishing a trusting relationship. Unfortunately, the experience isn't always positive, as McDowell explains.
McDowell: "If you're in an instance where the parent/teacher conference isn't so positive, I would encourage both the teacher and the parent to remain neutral and as objective as possible in their communication efforts and, as a last resort, if needed, get the administrator involved to act as a moderator."
Announcer: McDowell says parents can help make parent/teacher conferences a success by making a list of specific questions or concerns. It's also helpful to be open-minded as the teacher shares information about the child.
This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.
Sound bite #1
McDowell explains the importance of parent/teacher conferences. The sound bite is 13 seconds and the outcue is "about the children."
McDowell: "The true purpose behind the parent/teacher conference and the importance of conference time is really all about communication and collaboration between the teacher and the parents, so that they can establish a trusting relationship and be open about sharing information about the children."
Sound bite #2
McDowell explains how parents can make the most out of a parent/teacher conference. The sound bite is 17 seconds and the outcue is "about your child."
McDowell: "Some things parents can do to make conferences a success — I would encourage them to prioritize. You're going to have a limited amount of time to talk to the teacher, so prioritize, make a list of specific questions or concerns you have. And then also be open-minded in terms of what the teacher or the information the teacher is going to share to you about your child."
Sound bite #3
In the third sound bite, McDowell looks at parent/teacher conferences from a teacher's perspective. The sound bite is 16 seconds and the outcue is "to show the parents."
McDowell: "From a teacher's perspective, I would encourage them to use the sandwich technique. Start with something positive. Work in there things that maybe you're concerned about regarding academic performance or behavior, and then end with something positive. I also encourage teachers to use examples of student work to show the parents."
Sound bite #4
McDowell talks about the best-case scenario for parents, teachers and students as a result of a parent/teacher conference. The sound bite is 18 seconds and the outcue is "best interests at heart."
McDowell: "Best-case scenario, the outcome of a parent/teacher conference is open lines of communication, clearly demonstrated student progress in terms of the standards or academic goals for the year, and then also just a sense of trust and knowing that the teacher and the parents both have the children's best interests at heart."
Sound bite #5
McDowell says it's important for parents to stay involved in their child's educational career. The sound bite is 17 seconds and the outcue is "educational career."
McDowell: "I encourage parents to stay involved in their children's educational careers throughout the ages. A lot of parents think that it's okay in the early years, and then slip up or don't attend quite as often in the later years, but really it's important to stay involved throughout your child's educational career."