It was Sunday night before the week of parent/teacher conferences (PTC) and I thought to myself “What am I going to talk about?” When it comes to talking to parents, I actually thoroughly enjoy it! (Is that strange?!) I’m a very personable and outgoing person, therefore engaging in conversations for about 5 minutes, for me, is a piece of cake. Although I wasn’t nervous about speaking, for some reason on this Sunday night, I wasn’t content with my “two days before PTC” situation. I began to think “What if I don’t know what to say?”. In prior years, I had always handed parents a print-out of grades. However, that still required me to explain a lot and I just didn’t want to do that.
I then turned to my teacher instagram and put out a IGstory asking if anyone had any PTC tips and tricks. I read a comment about providing parents with a survey before-hand where they listed any concerns. Well, this was a great idea, but realistically with conferences beginning in two days, I knew this wasn’t feasible.
However, because of that comment I had an instant lightbulb moment! The idea popped into my head to give my students a self-assessment survey to complete on Monday. The survey would incorporate questions where students had to simply circle “yes,” “sometimes,” or “no.” The assessment would contain statements such as “I always do my homework.” “I study for test.” “I raise my hand during class.” etc, and at the end of the survey I would ask students to identify a strength and write a goal. I then decided that I would begin each parent conference by reviewing the self-assessment survey because I could tell parents how their child is doing, but I believe it speaks volumes when the child is admitting to his/her strengths and weaknesses.
Let me tell you….the survey was A HIT!!!! After exchanging greetings with a parent that walked in my room, I explained that we would begin by reviewing a self-assessment survey that his/her son or daughter completed. (Cue impressed faces!!) Parents were IMPRESSED and truly EXCITED to see what their child thought! The survey was perfect because it helped lead me into conversations. For example, if the student circled that they sometimes studied for tests, I suggested ways to study or attending extra help. If the child circled sometimes for completing HW assignments, I directed the conversation to my HW policy and making up homework assignments.
Basically, the survey was my security blanket. It provided me a layer of protection against any awkward moments of silence. (Gotta hate those!!!!)
Because I loved it sooooo much and want to help y’all out, you can find the self-assessment survey for FREE on my TPT! OR right here! You can modify it in any way to cater to your classes and students!
I will forever use a self-assessment survey for PTC and I hope you will too!!