A few weeks ago I began preparing for my school's annual parent-teacher conference week. I realized that each meeting basically consists of two parts: 1) the time I spend providing general information about the items on the conference agenda (e.g., class policies, units of study, scoring systems, rubrics) and 2) the time I am able to focus on the progress of each child (e.g., strengths, improvement areas, goals, work samples).
To minimize the time I needed to spend on the former and maximize the time I could spend on the latter, I decided to make a short video, and I asked each family to watch it before they arrived at their conference. The video contains the general information that I would normally mention during each meeting. By having everyone watch the video prior to the conference, I was able to jump right into the information that pertained to each specific child and keep the focus there for the duration of the meeting. I found the conferences to be more efficient and effective than the ones I've conducted in the past. An added bonus is that I didn't have to repeat the same information 29 times since I already provided it in the video. Click here to watch.