Eight Proven Strategies, The unknown is terrifying, and among all the moments of anticipation and worry that a teacher faces. One stands out above the rest the parent-teacher meeting. Will my pupils’ parents hold me responsible for their children’s poor grades? Will they criticize my teaching methods? Is anyone going to show up?
I’ve seen just about everything in my 22 years as a teacher. A parent once asked why I teach Macbeth because everyone knows Shakespeare is dull and outdated. I had to explain to a parent that her child was on her phone way too much in class. While the mom was texting excessively on her own phone the entire time we were talking.
Eight Proven Strategies Take Initiative
Don’t forget to account for some students’ ninja-like skills to keep their parents in the dark about conference times and dates; the same student who struggles with math may be secretly capable of getting into his father’s smartphone and deleting a voicemail.
It is difficult to even get parents into the building when work is late, childcare is tough to coordinate, and communication is hampered by language issues. Some of these barriers can be overcome by identifying culturally acceptable ways to welcome families and encourage them to participate actively in your classroom. Invite parents in their original language or have interpreters on hand.
Eight Proven Strategies Be Warm and Friendly
Set the tone for your parent-teacher conference by shaking hands, introducing yourself and the subject you teach, and expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to teach their kid. Offer them a seat with a welcoming smile. Share a positive anecdote about their child if you’re searching for a quick icebreaker. “Did Jeremiah tell you yesterday that he was the first one to complete the difficult arithmetic problem?” for example.
Eight Proven Strategies Explanation of Goals and Expectations
I like to provide parents a summary of my classes’ objectives as well as a copy of our reading list. I go over my expectations for my pupils and explain any terms that a parent might not understand, such as rubrics, scaffolding, and readiness.
Have a Plan
Parents want to know that their child’s instructor is familiar with them and has a strategy for their success. Before the conferences, go over your students’ grades and portfolios. To avoid missing a beat, jot down notes on each pupil, anticipate inquiries or parental concerns, and reread any previous parent communication.
Make a plan of action
Parents don’t want a laundry list of issues thrown at them; they want to hear how you plan to address the issue. Create an action plan that outlines the exact steps that the teacher, parent, and student will need to follow to ensure that the student is successful. For example, if Gabriela doesn’t finish her assignments because she struggles to write openers.
Make a sandwich that is good, bad, and good
This method is the silver bullet when it comes to discussing difficult matters with a parent. Begin by focusing on something positive— “”The problem is that Gerald is frequently off-task, and I’ve caught him on his phone several times.”—then go on to the issue: “The problem is that Gerald is often off-task, and I’ve caught him on his phone several times.” He misses important lesson topics when he isn’t paying attention.” Discuss your approach for rectifying the behaviour, and end on a positive note: “With Gerald’s good writing abilities and improved attention in class, I’m confident he’ll have a successful year.” It’s nearly impossible to mess up the good-bad-good sandwich.