A Parent-teacher meeting often strike dread in the hears of the students. But they are equally stressful for the teachers as well as the parents. However, these parent-teacher meetings are essential for the growth and progress of the child and so they must be given their due importance. Here, we will take a look at five strategies the teachers can adopt to ensure that these meetings go smoothly.
5 Strategies for A Successful Parent-Teacher Meeting
These parent-teacher meetings are very crucial, they are the parents’s chance to have a one-on-one meeting with the teacher to learn about their child’s behavior and progress in school. And the teachers can also have a productive exchange of information with the parents, so they can better guide the students.
However, in these situations apprehension from both the parents and teachers is normal. Teachers are apprehensive of parents that are unable to digest any critique of their children. And parents are worried about their kid’s performance and behavior in school. So to soothe the nerves and ensure a productive and efficient discussion, teachers can adopt the following strategies.
1] Plan Ahead
These days, both parents are usually extremely busy in their professional lives. Teachers have to ensure that the meeting is planned in such a way, that the parents can actually show up.
Absenteeism is one of the biggest hurdles in parent-teacher conferences. Make sure you pick the right hours where the chances are that most parents can show up. Also, use technology to ensure that the time and date is communicated to the parents and that they also get timely reminders.
2] Regular Updates about the Student’s Performance
If the teacher hands out one comprehensive report card at the parent-teacher meeting, it may confuse the parent. It is also too late to help the student recover from their mistakes and help them with their shortcomings.
Instead, the teachers should send performance data to the parents every few weeks. Reports and graphs detailing the child’s performance must be sent monthly if possible. Then the teachers and parents can use the time at the meeting to analyze these reports and track the progress of the student.
3] Be Careful While Giving Negative Feedback
Most parents usually think that their child is perfect, even perhaps the best. So they usually do not react well when the teacher has any negative feedback about their kid. Hence, when providing any negative feedback the teacher has to be tactful.
Joe Hirsch (leadership coach and behaviorist) suggests a specific framework for delivering negative feedback. First, explain the context of the problem, like if it occurred during recess or during class, etc. The explain the specific observations you have – describe how the child’s behavior or action affects them. And finally, ask for input from the parents themselves. So that they can be a part of the solution.
4] Involve the Students as Well
One effective way to ensure positive results from a parent-teacher meeting is to involve the students as well. After all, the students are the subject of the conversation. So for a part of the meeting, involve them. Let them present a portfolio of their work during school and make observations. This way the parents and students can both vocalize their observations to the teacher who can help them find solutions.
5] Guide Parents on how to Help their Kids
This is the most common complaint that the parents usually have during a parent-teacher meeting. They are aware of their kid’s areas of improvement but do not know how to actually help them out at home. The teachers can use these meetings to guide the parents.
There are many ways t achieve this. Sometimes the teacher can simply suggest a new book or approach that the parents can use to help their kids. Some schools establish Parent-Teacher teams. Here a large number of parents interact with each other and are helped by the teacher to help the students achieve their academic goals. Sometimes schools also arrange for parent workshops.
As long as both the teacher and the parents are enthusiastic and responsible participants, these meetings usually have a positive impact on the student and lead to an improvement in their performance and overall development.