Key Terms: Parent-Teacher Conferences

Active Listening
The technique of giving close attention to a speaker, picking up on the feelings expressed by verbal and nonverbal cues, then reflecting those feelings back. Listeners might paraphrase or reflect.
Technical terms used by professionals in the field that may not be understood by others.  Teachers use technical terms that families may not understand, such as “DAP” or “”sensorimotor.”  It’s important to use terms or to explain terms to families.
Open-Ended Questions

Restating what another person has said in slightly different words.

For example, a parent might say, “He’s so difficult at drop off these days, I hate bringing him to school.” The teacher might paraphrase, “You dread saying good-by to him because he cries when you leave him.”

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A technique where the listener provides feedback to a speaker on the feelings expressed (verbally or nonverbally). The listener reflects the feelings back to the speaker.  For example, a parent might say, “He’s so whiny when I drop him off in the mornings,” and the teacher might reflect back, “You’re frustrated with his behavior at drop-off.”
Changing the view expressed by a speaker to a more positive one.  For example, if a parent says, “He’s so nosy,” the teacher might say, “He’s very curious about his world, and wants to know everything that you are doing.”

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