At our parent-teacher conferences, students lead the way

At our parent-teacher conferences, students lead the way

Each fall and spring, families and schools across the country take part in “parent-teacher” conferences. Filing in and out of classrooms (or Zoom rooms), educators and parents talk about student progress, participation, and social development. The children and teens who are the subject of the conference are not usually in the room.

At the Newark middle school where I work, though, our students are the ones leading the conference. They are the ones facilitating the conversation about their strengths and areas for growth.

It takes preparation to get there, but I’ve seen it pay off for everyone involved.

To help students to feel confident enough to advocate for themselves, we have them prepare and practice with their peers. Before parents arrive, students complete a reflection activity, and my colleagues and I use a checklist to ensure we make the most out of these rare opportunities to all get together.

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CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education.
For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train:

TEACHERS: General and Special Ed Masters (Early Childhood or Childhood), Adolescent Special Ed / Professional Certification Masters, TESOL MastersSpecial Ed license extension courses, Bilingual license extension coursesTESOL license extension courses, Early Childhood license extension courses

COUNSELORSSchool Counseling MastersMental Health Counseling MastersAdvanced Certificate in Mental Health or School Counseling

ADMINISTRATORSSchool Building LeadershipSchool District LeadershipDoctorate for CSA members, Doctorate for non-CSA membersPublic Administration Master’s

— in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk.

CITE PD: CITE offers CTLE-approved in-school or online professional development tailored to your school’s needs and your vision. We can work remotely with your staff and parents. Info: