Teaching is a labor of love. As a teacher, you are spending a huge amount of time with children, sometimes seeing them longer than their parents see them during a regular school day! Remember parents usually just want to be informed, a part of their childs’ day, and just be a part of their child’s success. When working with parents, it is easy to become frustrated, or overwhelmed for sure, but with these teacher tips for working with parents, those phone calls, check-ins and parent teacher conferences will be a breeze!
5 Teacher Tips For Working With Parents
Whether you are a first year teacher or a veteran, parents are sometimes difficult to work with! So, here are some easy teacher tips for working with parents.
#1 Open Communication
Parents want to be informed and even when they don’t respond, they are seeing your communication. Get yourself on Class Dojo or Remind and have parents sign up. Send emails via Google Classroom or send home the weekly newsletter. Be available to parents one way or another. Oftentimes parents are more trusting of the teachers when they know the teacher is responsive. Using the technology we have available like Dojo or Remind is quick and simple without spending tons of time making phone calls all the time. Not to say phone calls don’t matter because they do, but parents like the daily or weekly quick check-ins to see what is going on in the classroom!
#2 Be Polite and Calm
Yes, it will happen. A parent will get angry, or upset and probably take it out on you. But one of the best tips is to remain polite and calm. There is something to be said about bringing a calm energy to a fight. It really does contribute to bringing everyone back down to calmly discuss what might have happened to Johnny during recess. Remember parents just want to be informed and want to be a part of the education of their children. Of course, parents are going to be passionate when something goes wrong. Stay calm and give the facts. Be polite and if the parent is really combative, politely say you will need to call them back with the support staff at a later date. Easy. Polite and calm will definitely bring you a long way!
#3 Show the Data!
Why not bring the data! Parents want to know how Sally did on her math test or what her benchmark scores are and if they are increasing. Data is so important because parents may not actually know what goes into report card grades. Bring samples of the child’s work to a parent teacher meeting. If the student is struggling in writing, bring their writing portfolio(grab this one here). Be clear on your expectations, the standards, and the goals of the school to help make it clear to the parents where their child may be falling academically. By showing the data, or the work, parents then see what you see as the teacher, and it may open up the communication even more.
#4 Listen First!
Remember parents are sometimes passionate people. When a parent comes to you with a concern or a worry or a topic they want to discuss, always listen first. They are coming to you for a reason so listen. Remain polite and calm, and if needed bring out the data to help explain.
#5 Always Start with the Positive!
When talking to parents, it is really important to start with the positive! There is always something positive to say before getting into the nitty gritty. John is a fabulous friend and helper in the classroom, but he is struggling with reading comprehension. Remember parents are the biggest advocates for their kids. Support them and show you care about their children by staying positive and then sharing any other news you may need to give.
Teacher Tips For Working With Parents
Working with parents should be an enjoyable experience, but remembering these tips should make it even easier! Parents naturally just want to be included in their child’s day and teachers have a lot of responsibilities, so keeping that open communication is key to success!
Check out some of my other tip blog posts: