Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Working with Parents New Teacher/Mentor Program Modified from a presentation by Dr. Douglas J. Fiore, South Anna Elementary School, Hanover."— Presentation transcript:
Strategies for Working with Parents New Teacher/Mentor Program Modified from a presentation by Dr. Douglas J. Fiore, South Anna Elementary School, Hanover County, Virginia.
Mindsets for Working with Parents Parents trust us with the most precious thing in their life – their child. To educate the whole child we need to work in partnership with the parents. 100% of parents want the very best for their children. Research is very clear that the best situation for the child is when parents and teachers work well together.
Building Credibility Everybody wants to associate with a winner.
Building Credibility Perception can be more powerful than reality We care deeply about our students and we value the involvement of their parents. However, what’s important is whether or not we make others feel as if we do.
Focus on the Future Oftentimes, parents are concerned about a situation that the teacher knows very little about. In these cases, we must always focus on the future and keep the focus on what you know about their child.
Focus on the Future Example: “Mr. Johnson, unfortunately neither one of us saw what happened on the bus. Let’s work together to be sure that a situation like this one doesn’t happen in the future.”
Communication is the Key Regardless of our relationship with the parent, we must communicate regularly and purposefully. Parents value frequent communication from the teacher very, very highly. We must always remain pleasant, positive and professional.
An Ear, Not an Answer Just Listen! Oftentimes parents just need someone to listen – someone they know cares about their child. A caring face and a listening ear can lessen the severity of another person’s concerns.
The Telephone is your Best Friend... Unless It’s Ringing Positive telephone calls build credibility. Call the parent at work. If both work, call the busiest office.
What if they tell us not to call them at work? With cooperative parents, we should always try to comply. With some parents, calling them at work may be the only way to get their attention but acknowledge that you tried other methods first.
What if they are upset or angry? Never tell an angry person what to do. Listen for what the underlying problem is. Let them talk as long as the conversation is productive.
Dealing with Upset Parents Never argue, yell, use sarcasm, or behave unprofessionally with parents. The key word in that sentence is… NEVER
Why? There needs to be one adult, and the only person you can count on is you. Difficult people have more practice arguing. Core Belief – Never argue with an angry parent! You get to control how many and which arguments you get in.
What should I say? “I’m so glad you called. That’s the kind of feedback I need to hear.” If a conversation is taking too long it’s o.k. to say, “I’m happy to talk to you, but this time is taking away from my planning for tomorrow.” If a parent speaks harshly to you it’s o.k. to say, “Please don’t talk to me like that.” If your school has a communication plan, refer parents to that.
What should I say? Say, “I’m sorry that happened.” You’re admitting no guilt. You’re not suggesting any change in plan. “How can we work together to make sure this doesn’t happen again?”
The Best Way to Get in the Last Word The best way to get in the last word is to APOLOGIZE.
Dealing with two parents…. If you call a parent and the next day the other parent calls to argue…. Call that parent FIRST next time. It’s better to deal with an upset parent on your own initiative.
Teachers and Parents in Partnership Make Successful Students!