Parent-teacher conferences are essential to a student's development, but they can also be a chore to schedule. Not only do you need to juggle each parent's work commitments, but you also need to make sure you can make all of the conferences within the allotted amount of time. As you begin the scheduling process, consider these tips to improve your efficiency and avoid any costly mistakes.
Make Sure You Have the Right Contact Info
It should go without saying, but it's very frequent that you could be contacting the non-custodial parent, or that you could be arranging things with one parent when you need to be arranging things with both parents separately. At the beginning of the year, make sure you have the right contact information. Often, school districts can mix this information up.
Consider a Cloud-Based Scheduling System
A cloud-based scheduling system can import your own schedule and let parents choose their own time slots. You can select the time slots that are available to them, and then they can find the slots that are most useful for them. Once they select it, it will automatically be shown as selected to other parents, so other parents won't be able to select the same time slot. This is one of the most effective ways to improve communications.
Give Yourself Time
Remember that some appointments are going to go much longer than you expect. Make sure to give yourself a buffer of at least 15 minutes before and after each appointment; even if you feel that you can call it short, there are appointments that may end up going longer than others.
Contact Them Ahead of Time
Send an email to each parent before the meeting confirming the date and time, to ensure that they haven't forgotten. If you're using a scheduling system, the scheduling system itself may be able to call or text them ahead of time and to let them reschedule automatically if they need to. The more of the system you can automate, the better. Once you get used to automation features, you'll find the process faster and easier during the next year.
Sometimes scheduling is going to go awry, but with the above tips, you should be able to avoid double-booking. Ideally, you'll be able to get all of your parent-teacher conference scheduling done with time to spare, so you can do what you do best: teach.
Although most people tend to think of education as something that they need to do in a formal setting, the world is filled with lessons if you just look around and soak it in. I started focusing more and more on education about ten years ago, and it was really great to feel how much of a difference those early lessons made in my personal life. Before I knew it, I really felt like things were starting to open up for me, and I was starting to feel happier about the direction my life was heading. I wanted to start a blog all about education, so that you can learn what you need to in order to improve your life.