Well, maybe not all kids stress over it. But I did. And I don’t want my kids to worry now. So here’s what I do.
First, I gather my students’ work into folders throughout the quarter. Then, I work with the kids to fill out information forms to share with their parents. It gives them a chance to see what we’re going to talk about, and to set their own goals for improvement. Yes, even preschoolers can set goals!!
We do this by talking about skills that they need to practice or work on. The kids will tell me what they need help with (especially if I give them clues). By helping this way, the kids feel like they have some control and input. If you would like a copy of the form I use, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send one to you!
Before conferences start I give myself at least 10 minutes of quiet time to pray before I begin. I pray for the children, parents, families and other teachers. I pray that all conferences go smoothly and that we all come with the mindset of doing what is best for our kids.
At the beginning of each conference I always tell the parents that testing at the age of 4 is not reliable. The results can change for many reasons, including mood, what’s going on around them, feelings.
There are times when things don’t go as expected. Sometimes the parents are upset! When this happens, I take a few seconds before responding. Sometimes I say that I need to talk to the principal or assistant before I can answer them. I tell the parents that as soon as I have the information they need, I’ll give them a call. This usually defuses the situation.
As much as I love teaching, conferences are a challenge … and I’m glad they’re over for the semester!!