Solving Your Parent-Teacher Conference Headaches with Student-Led Conferences

Erica Peron Teacher Resources for Success

Student-Led Conferences offer an opportunity for students to take ownership of their learning and lead the conversation about their progress. Though these conferences require a little more preparation, the student-led approach solves some of the biggest headaches and pitfalls associated with parent conferences.
  • Will they even show up?– Attendance improves when parents are encouraged to attend with their children.
    • Parents are more likely to attend knowing their students are the stars of the show. Not only will parents get to see their child shine in a leadership role, but they will also receive valuable information about success and opportunities directly from their child.
    • Watch this video to see Student Led Conferences in action!
  • Lack of follow through – Knowing they must discuss their successes and challenges with parents encourages students to take ownership of their learning all year!
  • Defensive Parents – When students lead the conversation, parents are more likely to show support and encouragement rather than anger and defensiveness.
    • When students are responsible for explaining their growth and progress, teachers no longer need to justify the areas that students are struggling. Parents hear directly from the student and are able to brainstorm solutions with the teacher and student to become a part of their student’s growth.
    • Still nervous about discussing a difficult situation? Read this article from Edutopia on providing difficult feedback.

Want to learn more? If you are interested in trying Student-Led Conferences at your school, consider attending one of our online webinars or contact your regional coordinator to schedule an in-person session at your school!


Check out these exciting free resources for the month of October!

Reading Eggs through Edmentum: Looking for support for your struggling readers aged 2-13? Reading Eggs is an award-winning program that uses games to engage students in learning to read. Reading Eggs is offering a FREE 4-week trial through October 31st.

Book It!:  BOOK IT! motivates children to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with praise, recognition and pizza from Pizza Hut. The program is simple, flexible, fun and free to use in your classroom! BOOK IT! was created in 1984 and currently reaches more than 14 million students and 37,000 K-6 grade schools annually.

Lead4change: Lead4Change is a FREE leadership program where students identify and use their leadership skills by doing a service project. The ready to use lesson plans will take you through the steps of leadership and service. All resources are available to registered members for free.

The Importance of Honest Feedback about Student Progress

Erica Peron School Leadership Resources

It’s time to ask ourselves as educators the hard question. Are we communicating clear, coherent, actionable, timely, and honest information about student progress?

A surprisingly large number of parents believe their children are on track for college, when in fact, they might not be. Read the full EdNavigator article complete with case studies!

Are you feeling concerned about having the clear, honest, and difficult conversation with some of your students’ parents? It’s important to remember (and to remind your teachers) that in order to build a positive growth mindset in our students, we must first be honest about the real progress or lack of progress our students are making!

Check out this article from Edutopia on Framing Difficult Feedback for Parents.

Remember good feedback includes clear, coherent, actionable, timely, and honest information about student progress. One assessment or assignment should not tell the whole story of a student’s academic status. Consider the option of creating a student portfolio of work. This way, students and parents can see a more complete picture of performance and growth in the classroom. This may even be a great way of initiating student-led conferences in your classroom!

Read this article from Edutopia on creating student portfolios and introducing student-led conferences.

Don’t forget!  Step Up for Students offers free Professional Learning courses on Student-Led Conferencing.


Check Out these Resources for Students with Unique Abilities!

Shriners Hospitals for Children is teaming up with the legendary rock band Foreigner to remake a classic and sell the group’s CD’s as a fundraiser. The band is donating a version of their chart-topping song, “I Want to Know What Love Is,” which was recently recorded and sung by band members and children who are Shriners patients in Tampa. Watch this inspirational video and see how you can help support the Shriners Hospital right here in Florida! Click here to learn more!

For schools serving students with unique abilities, the Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS) is a wonderful resource.  FDLRS Centers across the state provide an array of instructional and technical support services to school district Exceptional Student Education programs statewide. The four central functions of each FDLRS Associate Center are Child Find, Parent Services, Human Resource Development, and Technology.  Find your local FDLRS center for free professional development related to serving exceptional student education, parent information and training, adaptive technology resources and much, much more!

To view all previous School Leadership Resources postings, click here.