Parent-teacher communication can be one of the most stressful things about being a teacher. Finding strategies to deliver tough information is key to developing and maintaining strong parent-teacher relationships while keeping the child at the center. Here are a few ideas that might be helpful to you!
Hi, I’m Keely from Learners Edge.
I’d like to talk to you today about sharing challenging information with parents. This can be very stressful, so I’d like to give you some tips.
You may need to share information about a student’s disability, the need for intervention, or maybe behaviors that you’re seeing in the classroom.
Here are some tips.
First, plan and rehearse what you’re going to say with a parent. Make sure that you’re being honest with your information, and that you’re not sugarcoating what you have to share. Sometimes this can cause problems down the line.
Use simple language. Don’t use edu speak or jargon. We as teachers are familiar with that, but many parents are not.
It’s very helpful to use visuals, like this bell curve or maybe a graph of a student’s information. This really brings things into more clarity for parents.
Always refer back to the data that you have, the more data that you have, the less things become about personal feelings and emotions, and the more you have something to refer back to. Give parents time to process the information you’re sharing.
Allow them time to ask questions. And if you’re not sure of the answer, assure them that you’ll find out and get back to them in a timely manner.
Make a plan. Have a strategy or an idea for what you are going to do to help the student, and then get the parents buy in so that they can help with implementation, as well. Make sure you set a calendar reminder so that you remember to check back in with parents in about four to six weeks and share any information that you have about their child’s current performance.
If you’d like to learn more about partnering with parents, check out our webinar: Partnering with Parents Who Challenge Us.
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