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Scheduling Parent-Teacher Conferences with Appointment Slots in Google Calendar
Google Calendar has an “Appointment Slots” feature which allows you to allocate increments of time you are available by appointment and then allows people you share your scheduling link with to self-schedule appointments as long as they do not conflict. When someone tries to schedule an appointment, you will receive an email invitation to that appointment and it will appear in your Google Calendar at the allotted time and no other users are able to schedule for that time period. If that appointment should be changed or cancelled, either user can delete the event from their calendar and it will mark that time block as available again. Note that replying “No” to an invitation does not mark that time period as free again.
You can use Appointment Slots in Google Calendar for much more than just Parent-Teacher conferences, and this article should give you enough information for you to use them elsewhere. You can view Google's help page on Appointment Slots for more information.
How to Schedule Parent-Teacher Conferences with Appointment Slots
The process to schedule your Parent-Teacher conferences in Google Calendar requires a two major steps, first you must create a calendar for your conferences and then you must create your time blocks in that calendar when you are available. After that, you should be diligent about replying to conference invitations and deleting appointments if necessary.
Create a Calendar for your Parent-Teacher Conferences
Events created from Appointment Slots need a calendar to be created in. You should create a new calendar just for your Parent-Teacher conferences so that you can share it with relevant members of administration.
- Start logged in to your Google Calendar. Note: If you have other Google Accounts, make sure you are signed in to your La Salle High School account.
- On the left side of the page, to the right of “My calendars”, click the downward triangle and click “Create new calendar”.
- For the calendar name, enter your last name then “Parent-Teacher Conferences” so that the calendar's name is something like “Brashear Parent-Teacher Conferences”. You may leave the Description and Location blank.
- At the bottom of the page where it says “Share with specific people”, enter the email address “[email protected]”, leave the permissions at “See all event details” and press enter (or click Add Person).
- Once you've have the correct people added to your calendar, click “Create Calendar” at the bottom. You're now ready to set up Appointment slots in your Parent-Teacher Conferences calendar.
Create Appointment Slots for Parent-Teacher Conferences
- In your Google Calendar, browse to the day you wish to create appointment slots on. For the 2013-2014 school year, the first round of Parent-Teacher conferences are on Tuesday, November 26.
- Click in blank space near the time you wish to create your Appointment Slots. For the 2013-2014 school year, the first round of Parent-Teacher conferences start at 2:30pm.
- In the dialog that appears, click “Appointment slots”.
- If you do not see the “Appointment slots” option, make sure you have your calendar in either “Day”, or “Week” view near the top right.
- Click “Edit details” at the bottom of the Appointment slots dialog.
- Where it says “Create appointment slots on calendar” change the calendar to your Parent-Teacher Conferences calendar (Mr. Brashear's calendar would be “Brashear Parent-Teacher Conferences”).
- Give the event a title using your last name, such as “Brashear Parent-Teacher Conferences”.
- Change the Time block to the times you are available. November 2013 Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled on 11/26/2013 from 2:30pm to 9:00pm.
- Under “Type”, make sure that you change it to “Offer as slots of 10 minutes” (instead of the default of 30 minutes).
- For “Where” enter your room you will be having your conferences in, such as “104”.
- You may leave the description blank. It's up to you.
- Ensure the appointment slots are going into the right calendar (Parent-Teacher Conferences), then copy the link to “This calendar's appointment page”. People will use this link to schedule conferences with you.
- Ensure the date and times are correct, then click “Save” at the top.
- Now, in order for students to schedule conferences with you, they need that link you copied earlier. For November 2013, paste your link into this Google Form and it will be distributed to the students along with other Parent-Teacher conference information when it goes out.
Manage Conference Invitations
When your appointment link is sent out and students begin applying for time slots, you will receive Google Calendar invitations to your email. Each invitation will show you who requested the appointment and for what time. You have three options:
- If you will be there, you should indicate so by clicking “Yes” next to where it says “Going?” or at the top of the email.
- If you will not be able to make that time, and you do not want that time to be available for other people to use, click “No” instead. You probably do not want to reply “No” to Parent-Teacher conference appointments.
- If you do not want to meet with that person, but want to allow others to schedule for that time, click “more details” in the email. At the event details page, click “Cancel appointment” at the top, then click “Delete & notify guests” so they know your appointment has been declined.