Thursday, October 6, 2011

Counselor's Role in Parent Teacher Conferences

We are in the middle of our mandated fall conferences. These are suppose to be simply an opportunity for parents to share information with teachers about their child but parents don't want a one-way conference. They of course want answers to 'how is my child doing?" "does my child have friends" etc. Sometimes I attend just to have more contact with the parents and hear their perspective. At times I attend the conference to facilitate the discussion between parents and teachers, especially if the teacher is inexperienced or there has been a prior history of conferences not going well. I always remind myself that my goal is collaboration with parents and teachers to maximize my work with students. Many times my schedule is too full to attend all the conferences I'd like, so I do my best to prioritize - if I already have a relationship with a family I might skip that one in favor of the chance for face-to-face time with a new family. Parents and teachers who have conferences that do not go well often want to meet with me afterwards because of issues that surface in the meetings. I always get many referrals from these conferences which means next week my already full schedule will become even tighter. It is good that I already have 3 groups started and 7 more planned to begin next week!

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