List of Positive Phrases or Words for Parent Teacher Conferences

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Parent teacher conference time means trying to come up with messages that communicate accurately to parents in order to help provide solutions that enable students to flourish within the classroom. Such students must refrain from behavior that keeps the teacher from teaching or other students from learning. For any teacher meeting with parents, a list of positive phrases or words for parent teacher conferences will prove helpful.

1 Works Well With Peers

Expert in adolescent psychology, Leslie Kaplan, stresses the influence of peers upon academic performance in her book, "Coping with Peer Pressure." Parents and teachers, too, recognize the influence peers have on a student's performance. Parents want to know how other students interact with their child. Phrases such as "helps classmates find solutions" and "needs to contribute more openly to her cooperative learning group" enable parents to better understand how the student gets along with her peers.

2 Respects Authority

Students must develop respect for and get along with administrators, teachers and other adults within the academic environment. Following school and classroom rules lays the groundwork for adapting to college requirements and demands of their chosen careers. When students act out against adults, their behavior often indicates more serious problems parents and teachers need to address. Words such as "bad," "rude" or "problem child" can put the parent on the defensive and become counterproductive. "Needs to show more respect for adults" would be a more positive phrase.

3 Exhibits Commendable Work Habits

Most students need to improve work habits in some area. Positive words and phrases help inform parents of those needs. Teachers can elaborate with, "listens well," "follows directions" or "high degree of time task."

4 Much Improved

According to Leah Davies, M.Ed., when teachers make negative comments about a student, parents often become "overwhelmed" and are unable to respond in a manner that benefits the student. When teachers recognize that students have made progress, parents can breathe a sigh of relief and become more open with the teacher about other areas that need to improve as well. No matter how problematic a child's behavior might be, noting improvement in some area, even though small, establishes a tone that contributes to further progress.

5 Needs Better Organization Skills

People cannot function successfully in chaos. The student whose loose-leaf notebook sports clearly labeled divider tabs, sufficient paper, sharpened pencils and who can turn to his completed homework within fifteen seconds may look like a nerd, but he has won half the battle of achieving success in school by being prepared.

6 Displays Talent

Parents most likely know when their child is talented. She might be a budding artist, or blossoming ballerina. He might be able to name every aspect of a thousand different action figures. When teachers notice these talents, they are conveying that they care about the child. Caring, nurturing teachers build students' self-esteem and parents appreciate this quality in their children's teachers.

7 Shows a Lot of Potential

This phrase enables a teacher to turn a parent teacher conference in a positive direction if the meeting has focused for too long on aspects that are more negative. Since all children have potential, recognizing this potential enriches an already positive conference or steers a less positive one in a more positive direction.

Carrie Keathley served as a high school English teacher for more than 30 years. She now writes for various websites. Keathly earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wesleyan College, a Master of Arts in English education from East Carolina University and is certified in teaching the academically gifted.