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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

The Parent Conference Map

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


March 04, 2013

Many Coaching skills allow us to be a mediator of thinking in all aspects of our lives. One place where teachers might consider using the skills of coaching is in conferences with parents. Instead of talking at parents as an educational consultant, coaching turns the conversation into a partnership for the child.

Consider the map for parent teacher conferences developed by Jane Ellison and Carolee Hayes, the co-directors of the Center for Cognitive Coaching.

Parent Conference Map:

Agree upon the purpose/goal

Share data (to support evidence of claims about student progress and areas of concern)

Develop agreements on the meaning of the data

Clarify future goals and objectives

Reflect on conference process and content and explore refinements

You can read more about this map in Chapter 13, Using Cognitive CoachingSM in Parent-Teacher Conferences, in Cognitive Coaching: Weaving Threads of Learning and Change into the Culture of an Organization.

Educators who have used this map report it has changed the nature of their conferences with parents. This week, look for opportunities to try a coaching stance in places where you might have previously worked as a consultant.

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