Parent-Teacher Conferences. If you work in a school with students who are from families with limited English abilities, this can be a stressful event even in a normal year.
However, we’re not in a normal year. We’re in the middle of a pandemic which has impacted our schools in so many ways. So, we’ve been finding new solutions to stay connected as a school community.
That leaves us thinking about how we’re going to support translation and interpretation, especially for Parent-Teacher Conferences.
Here are a few tips we thought of that might help:
1. Use Local Interpreters for Parent-Teacher Conferences
Work with a local vendor to connect with interpreters in your community (if possible). Finding local interpreters has the same effect as “shopping local“. You help local businesses and you get the benefit of working with people who live in the same communities as the families you serve.
2. Use a Scheduling Tool
Use a scheduling tool to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you try to coordinate and schedule with email, phone, or text messaging, it’s a quick way to go crazy. A simple google form helps. Although, did you know our system “LinguistLink” is especially designed for Language Access in schools?
Scheduling with LinguistLink.net for Free!
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3. Confirm the Appointment
Once you schedule the interpreter, provide them with the parent’s phone number and ask them to confirm the appointment the day before with the family.
4. Use the Right Platform
If you have a choice, choose a simple video platform for the meeting. Many families do not have access to a computer or internet and will probably connect via their mobile phone, so don’t be afraid to schedule a three-way phone call.
5. Use Best Practices for Interpretation
Make sure you follow best practices for interpretation. For example, during the meeting — address the parent directly, but allow time for the interpreter to relay the message.
Applying these ideas will help you communicate information for Parent Teacher Conferences effectively with families regardless of their English abilities.
If you would like to discuss or learn more about any of these tips, I would love to hear from you! Shoot me an email directly: firstname.lastname@example.org or Contact Us.