This is the first year I am not able to do my usual student-led conference schtick (the school I teach at this year is on full rotary, which means I see over 120 students, usually just for one subject, and so interviews are held collaboratively in the gym, with one or more teachers in attendance, as able).
In an attempt to customize the experience for students and their families as much as possible while maintaining some semblance of organization for myself, I've developed the following templates:
1. Interview Confirmation Letter Home
A letter is sent from the school earlier in the week to collect preferred meeting times from families. Over a few chaotic lunches, teachers dash madly in and hour of one another's rooms and attempt to coordinate who's meeting whom when. Then the homeroom teacher sends a note home with the report card, confirming the student's interview time.
2. Interview Planning Sheet
With only 15 minutes per time slot, there isn't much margin for guesswork. Get yourself organized for the conference by preparing notes about each student's meeting and family situation and including student, teacher and family perception of strengths, learning needs and next steps. A space is also included for follow up. Page Two is a "fill in the blanks" letter that parents can complete and give to their child some time after the interview.
Even with only 15 minutes to meet, I think it's important for students to be present at the conference. After all, it's about them! :) This template helps students reflect on their progress and consider what they might want to share with families at the interview. (Modified from this pdf, sent to me by a colleague at school.)
Hope these templates are helpful to my teacher readers -- feel free to modify and use as you wish. Good luck, teachers and families, with your upcoming student-led conferences and interviews!!