Core scripture: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
Message: It is that time of year again. Time to wrap up first quarter grades and begin that marathon week through parent/teacher conferences. The payoff for us is rather sweet in a long four-day weekend; however, with one day down and two to go, it is always good to remind myself how to run an effective conference.
First and foremost, you should always begin with a positive. Even if that kid hasn’t turned in a single assignment, you can always find something nice to begin with. Maybe they have a golden smile. Or maybe they have a clever wit. Whatever it may be, praise that child for something to get started on the right foot.
Another tip is to try to find something unique about each kid to mention. What makes them different from the rest? What moments give mom and dad a behind the curtains view of their son or daughter? Share an inside joke or a time when the kid showed strong leadership. Parents will be happy to know you are treating their child as a person and not just a number.
We should also be careful to balance grace with truth. The truth can sometimes be harsh, but if it is stated in a loving way, you have done your job. If the kid talks a lot, the parent should know that. Likewise, if they are a behavior issue or are not putting forth their best efforts. I would certainly want to know if my child was not doing well. Speak that truth in love.
Finally, always thank the parents for their time. Thank them for advocating for their children and for their loving support from home. Parents need that pat on the back as much as anyone, and being a parent is not easy. The more you build this as a positive relationship, the more you will bridge the gap between school and home.
The week of conferences is never easy, but we can get through it with the help of the Holy Spirit. Best of luck to all of you!
Challenge: Take on conferences with a Christlike attitude.
Prayer points: Lift up the following areas to the Lord …
- Praise God for the opportunity to meet with parents and encourage them.
- Pray that your tongue will be encouraging, positive, truthful, and filled with love.
Just for fun: Here is another parent/teacher conference meme that made me smile.
Prayer: Lord, give me endurance through conferences this week. May I reflect and magnify You to everyone I see. Amen.
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