Engaging Families and Rocking Conferences

My first year teaching, I felt like I was scrambling like a (very tired) chicken with it’s head cut-off.

All day.

Every day.


Communicating with parents, guardians, and families kind of felt like one of those extra “shoulds” I needed to back-burner until I got my feet on the ground (or my head reattached).

Not to mention how NERVE-WRACKING it was to call home. Or hold parent-teacher conferences. Or do anything that involved families. #nightmares

It took a couple years for me to finally realize the power good family communication could have in all other arenas of teaching:


-Student behavior

-Classroom management

-Lesson planning

-…And not to mention my own gosh-darn sanity.

Like serious power. If communication had horse-power, communication with families would have like 100 horses galloping behind it.

It wasn't just an extra thing to keep on top of....it was the KEY to everything else.


Because the truth is that your students don’t live in a vacuum.

They spend most of their time NOT in your classroom, or even in your school, and that they’ve got a group of people that know them at home better than you do. AND those people want the same thing you do:

For their child to reach their potential.


And the fact that you all want the same thing means there’s a lot of help there waiting for you to tap.


But how? How do you do that when you’re drowning in 100 other things to do? When maybe you’ve already started on the wrong foot with some parents? Or you don’t speak your students’ family’s language? Or no one has ever been able to reach them?

How can you hold conferences that you can not just survive, but come out unscathed and with action plans to boot?

That's where this mini action-course comes in.

Designed to be completed in 5-10 minute increments every day across 2-3 weeks, this course will take you through building a family communication routine that translates into help in every other arena of your classroom, all while saving you time.

It also takes you step-by-step through scheduling, preparing for, and holding successful Parent/Guardian – Teacher Conferences.

It includes:

  • 11 mini-modules with ideas, templates, and guidance, each with space and questions to help you apply the ideas to your own classroom immediately
  • Over 100 ideas and suggestions for fostering positive family relationships
  • 12 pages of handouts, logs, forms, and letters you can use tomorrow
  • 4 videos with strategies for navigating difficult parent scenarios

Want an idea of what we’ll cover?

Check out the curriculum below.

It's time to take advantage of all the resources at your finger tips and feel GOOD about it.

Jeanne Wolz - Hey all! I'm Jeanne, and I’m a middle school ELA teacher from Illinois and the founder of Teacher Off Duty--a blog dedicated to helping teachers save time, teach better, and live happier. I've been in education for 6 years: 4 years as a middle school teacher, 3 years mentoring new teachers as a cooperating teacher, 2 and a half as Department Chair and now over a year focusing on mentoring new teachers. I have a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in ESL and Bilingual Education. My 2nd year teaching, I won an Outstanding Beginning Teaching Award and I, honestly, didn't feel all that special enough for it. In fact, I knew then what I know now: I owed the early success largely to the strategic preparation I did every day my first couple years. And now, I want to help you do the same.

Cara Gutzmer - Hi! I'm Cara and I have taught for eighteen years in Illinois. I have a Master’s in Language and Literacy and a Master’s in Teacher Leadership, and achieved National Board Certification in 2008. I worked as a Reading Specialist for 5 years before becoming an Instructional Coach. I have worked with all content areas, helping teachers design and respond to Formative Assessment and other data. I specialize in the workshop approach to reading and writing. I have led professional development at the local and National level and is currently teaching preservice teachers. Cara can be reached at [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
Will I have time to complete this course?
This course is designed as a workshop. It’s supposed to operate like a coach guiding you through every step of work you'd be doing anyway to build positive relationships--but helping you whip it out like a veteran teacher--which means faster and higher quality than if you did it on your own. It's designed so you can spend just 5-10 minutes on it each day and still finish in a few weeks. And if it takes you longer than that--no worries! It will be available to you forever.
Is this course applicable to my situation outside the US?
The course is designed to help new teachers set up communication that runs smoothly, rather than about following national or state requirements. So it would be just as applicable for you as a US teacher.

Get started now!