Getting the Most Out of Your Virtual Parent-Teacher Conference

Share this Page:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

What are some tips for my virtual parent-teacher conference?

Fall is upon us, and parent-teacher conferences are quickly approaching. Conferences are an essential time for both parties to connect about the student’s academic performance and how to best support their specific learning style. It is also a time for teachers to offer their initial impressions of the student’s behavior and social-emotional wellbeing. 

This year, most of these meetings will be held virtually due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This has caused many teachers to wonder how they can effectively connect and communicate with parents while sitting in front of a screen instead of face-to-face in the classroom. In a world that’s more tech-based than ever, parents want to take advantage of this one on one meeting to ensure their child has a successful school year.  

Parents and teachers can follow a few simple steps to make sure they get the most out of their virtual student conference.

Make Technology Work for You

Make the most of the amazing technological resources out there! Here’s how to take advantage of a few of them. 

Zoom at a Time That Works Best.

Virtual student conferences eliminate the need for leaving work early or traveling to the child’s school. Parents can take advantage of this convenience by carefully scheduling the meeting for when they will have ample time and energy to discuss their child’s performance with the teacher. Easily accessible virtual conferences may also mean that both parents can attend. That can lead to improved understanding of the student’s performance and characteristics by all parties involved. 

Use an Online Sign Up Tool

Teachers can use an online sign up tool such as Sign Up Genius or ParentSquare to schedule conferences. This makes it easy for parents to set a time to meet and swap days or make changes as needed.

Come Prepared

Create & Share Documents Online

Conferences can go by quickly and it’s easy to deviate from topics. It is important for both teachers and parents to stay on track and cover the intended information. 

Parents – make a list in advance of questions, suggestions about your child’s learning style or behavior, and any other topics you’d like to make sure are covered. Using the screen sharing feature on your video conferencing platform can help both parties refer to these documents during the meeting.

Teachers – create a general agenda ahead of time to organize your conferences. Outline areas of discussion in a Word document, or a simple slideshow that you can email parents prior if you’d like. Use an app like ClassDojo to share positive classroom moments with parents that can keep them involved and engaged.  

Prevent Problems with Technology 

Teachers should let parents know ahead of time which platform they will be joining for the conference. Send a guide for how to utilize the platform, such as this one on Getting Started with Zoom. Teachers or administrators can create a “Frequently Asked Questions” or “Troubleshooting Tips” handout for parents about utilizing the system. Parents can ask to have information for a direct contact they can call or email if they run into an issue joining the meeting. 

Refer to Online Resources

While evaluating the student’s performance, if teachers have a concern with his or her learning, behaviors, communication, or motor skills, they can be ready to recommend the appropriate intervention. TherapyWorks provides pediatric Speech, Occupational, and Physical Therapy services via teletherapy. The child will be matched with a specialist based on his or her needs and the parents’ areas of concern. If intervention such as Speech Therapy is recommended, teletherapy is a convenient, safe, effective option to support a successful school year.

Keep Connection in Mind

Technology doesn’t have to be a social barrier! It’s important for both teachers and parents to remind themselves that whether in-person or on-screen, parent-teacher conferences are truly meant as an opportunity to connect about the child. Despite being behind a laptop, focus your energy and attention on the other party and collaborate to cultivate success!

 

If you have concerns about your child’s development or academic skills please don’t hesitate to reach out! The TherapyWorks team is happy to consult with your and provide recommendations.

COVID-19 Protocol

We hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe and healthy! We have outlined our protocols for in-person sessions during COVID-19. As you know, the health and safety of our clients and therapists remain our highest priority. As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together through these unprecedented times.


Hand Washing:
Upon arrival at your home, your therapist will wash their hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer. We ask that you and your child also wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon your therapist’s arrival.
 
Facemasks:
We are asking our therapists to wear masks upon entering your home and throughout your child’s session. That said, we understand that some children have adverse reactions to seeing adults in masks and will leave it up to you and your therapist to decide your comfort level while still taking safety precautions.
 
We ask that parents and caregivers also follow the guidelines and wear masks when sitting in on sessions. We will not enforce that policy, but we do kindly ask for compliance.
 
As for your child, we realize that masks may not be appropriate for every child so we will not enforce the rule that children over the age of 2 should wear a mask.  However, if your therapist insists that your child wear a mask, then that will be a requirement directly between the two of you. We respect our therapists’ individual comfort levels with safety precautions and ask that you respect them as well.

 

Protocol Acknowledgment and Health Certification:

Before your child’s first in-person session, we are asking clients to submit an acknowledgment of these protocols and a health certification, which you can find here. Thank you again for your cooperation and for helping all of us stay healthy!