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How to keep calm and carry on during conferences

Alissa Christensen
November 15, 2023

Parent-teacher conferences are right around the corner. Parents are excited (and maybe apprehensive!) to hear about their child's progress and teachers are preparing for one of the most important parts of their year. 

As educators, you know that it’s important to be consistent during each conference, stay on track, and lead the conversation. But no matter how consistent you are, a new parent coming to your desk every 15 minutes can be stressful! So how do you keep conference stress to a minimum?

We have gathered a list of suggestions and advice to keep your conferences running smoothly and your stress levels low! Our conference checklist is a great tool to keep organized for each student, too (you can download it for free here)! 

  • Start with a positive - highlight a strength of the student and/or share something they are good at outside of academics. This will put you at ease in the conversation too, keeping your stress levels low from the start!
  • Get organized - make sure your conference space is clean and prepared for families (and for you!). Lay out pens, post-its, or some candy! Have your students’ items organized by conference time to make it easy to grab and start your next conference! 
  • Jot it down - keep a small notebook to record a few notes for yourself of things that you want to remember after all those conferences! 
  • Take five - give yourself a brain break and take a quick walk up and down the hallway. Bring water or a snack with you to keep you fueled for your next conference. 
  • Reflect and Relax -take time at the end of conferences to reflect on places where you were a great communicator, and perhaps places where you'd like to improve! Then put your feet up and relax, you did it! 

As a former educator I know this time of year is very stressful! Meeting with families can be intimidating, but conferences are an opportunity to build relationships and trust, set new goals, and celebrate little (and big) wins.  

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