For as long as I can remember, parent-teacher conferences were scheduled by having papers go home with students, hoping that they would get to the parents. On the day of the conference, there would be a sign up sheet at the classroom door where parents/guardians could write their name next to an available time slot. There would be chairs set up outside the classroom so that parents/guardians could wait their turn for their name to be called. The teacher would come out of the classroom, much like doctors do when waiting at a doctor’s office, and announce the name of the individual whose turn it was next.
In the world of remote education, this looks a little different. Some aspects remain the same (contact, schedule, meet). The main difference here is that every piece of the aforementioned process happens online. Here are a few tips when it comes to scheduling your conferences:
1. Use a bcc
bcc stands for Blind Carbon Copy. In email speak, a bcc means that everyone in the bcc gets the same email, but no one in the bcc can see the email addresses of the other people in the bcc. This is an important privacy matter, as we want to ensure that we are not freely sharing contact information of our students’ families without their explicit consent.
2. Create appointment slots
Appointment slots are a powerful tool when it comes to having people sign up for a time that works for both them and for you. Plus, it saves the endless array of back-and-forth emails. With TL Specialists, I use a service called youcanbook.me for my bookings. The beauty of this tool is that it links directly to my calendar, which helps to ensure that I don’t get double-booked.
Another option is to use appointment slots in Google Calendar. With appointment slots in Google Calendar, you can easily create blocks of time that people can choose from with a few simple clicks.
3. Email templates are your friend
In using email templates, we’re able to save so much precious time! Rather than always composing a new message with a new response to the same question that you’ve already answered via email several times, why not create an email template instead?
What are some of your tips for scheduling conferences?