It is already in the middle of our new school year and our new students are still settling down with us. We have so many different personalities and an even greater array of parent types exist. Some of our parents are permissive, some are too harsh and others are just right, a perfect mix of parenting styles. With this in mind we must be able to win the approval and support of all by the way we treat with their kids.
Scheduling parent-teacher conferences at this point in time is necessary. Parents need a formal invitation to meet with their child's teacher as an opportunity to forge a common ground. As teachers we must also look forward to these conferences as the opportunity to get parents involved in their child's learning.
There are four ways to win friends and influence parents.
1. Don't Criticize or Condemn: No parent wants to hear how bad or terrible their child is. As teachers we must learn the art of communicating bad habits and behaviors in a positive way. For example:"Marcus is lazy and is failing Math." Why not put it this way: "Marcus' grade in Math is 63% which is a significant drop this semester." RELAY THE FACTS TEACHERS!
2. Don't Complain: Complaining to parents about things which you ought to do will certainly NOT win them over. If you have to conduct weekly assessment in all subject areas, don't whine about its insignificance with parents. Save it for the staff meeting!
3. Give Honest and Sincere Praise: I know it may be difficult to do so but speak about the good things about a child instead of the onslaught of negativity. Let parents know honestly and sincerely about the good habits and behaviors about their child. There must be something positive that you can say! As a matter of fact, spend some time before parent-teacher conferences making notes on each child. This really helps a lot!
4. Arouse in Parents and Students an Eager Want: What is going to motivate parents and students to do what you want them to do? Arouse in them an eagerness by painting the picture of success. Show them how beneficial it is for them to try things your way. Sell the idea! Market it! What better way to have them working together with you!
And now for some Parent-Teacher humor...