By: Jeannie Pascon
Director or Professional Development and Client Support and Grade 5 Teacher from CT
Admittedly, it has been awhile since I have conducted a Parent-Teacher conference as an elementary classroom teacher. However, I am really looking forward to kicking each conference off by sharing the student’s Renzulli Learning Profile. (If you have already held your conferences and did not share the Profilers, don’t worry - it’s not too late! Share them electronically as described below!)
Being able to talk about the child through the lens of his or her Interest Areas, Learning Styles, and Expression Styles will truly start your conferences off with a more personalized approach. Parents will be so impressed at how well you know their child, and you will perhaps even teach them a few things about their child they did know yet!
I will first review the Profilers with each child. This will happen in Zoom breakout rooms as we are “full remote” from November 30th until at least mid-January. I want each child to be prepared to read the Profiler to their parents during the conference. This also gives me a chance to discuss with each of them more specifically if they agree with their Profiler results and if they would like a chance to go back and review/revise their responses in any of the sections. Obviously, for younger students reading the entire Profiler is not likely to be feasible. In this case, I would prepare a quick bullet list of Interest Areas, Learning Styles, and Expression Styles for the child to “read” if possible.
[Side note - I am very happy that we are going full remote! I know, I know - every time someone asked me while I was working full-time for RL if I missed classroom teaching I said, “I miss the kids.” So it seems contradictory to say I’m happy to go full remote, right? However - as anyone teaching hybrid knows, we have less instructional time with the students and do double the planning. So I am looking forward to managing ONE Google Classroom for about 6 weeks or so and being in touch with all of the students all day long to support them in staying on task and completing assignments. And being in-person behind partitions with masks on is NOT my idea of in-person teaching anyway, so I am hopeful to have a little more “fun” with them remotely. Check back as the weeks progress to see if I’m right!]
So let’s discuss how to go about preparing to share the Profilers with parents during conferences.
I normally would provide my parents with several printed documents. This year, I plan to send them electronically - you can email them directly or share through a Zoom chat window or share on Google Drive - at the time of the conference.
- Student Profile
- Parent Welcome Letter (Located on Teacher Site under Help/Additional Resources)
- Parent Quickstart Registration Directions (Located on the Teacher Site under Help/Additional Resources)
After you welcome the parents and child to the conference, send them your little electronic package through whichever means is easiest for you, and share your screen with the Profiler open. Have the child read the Profiler out loud, as is appropriate based on their age. Point out to the parents that they can create a login to the Parent Portal to view their child’s work in Renzulli Learning, and explain briefly how Renzulli Learning will play an integral role in their child’s educational experience this year - whether for open ended enrichment, curriculum work, project based learning, or any combination!