Communicating with parents

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Communicating with parents

  1. 1. Communicating with and Engaging Parents
  2. 2. Goals O Identify the importance of engagement O Learn ways to engage parents O Review strategies for parent-teacher conferences O Understand strategies for working with difficult situations
  3. 3. Why engage parents?
  4. 4. High Impact Engagement
  5. 5. What are ways we can engage parents?
  6. 6. Parent Contacts— Self-Assessment 1. 2. 3. 4. # of students with academic and behavioral problems?____ How many parents have you talked to about these issues?___ Any positive notes or phone calls home? y/n How frequently do you input grades? How much info do you provide?______
  7. 7. Obstacles to Parent Contact Do you do any of the following? 1. Apologize for calling a parent about a problem with a child? Y/N 2. Avoid talking to parents because you are afraid they will criticize you? Y/N 3. Wait until the problem deteriorates before calling to inform the parent? Y/N 4. Avoid talking to the administration about problems with parents or students? Y/N
  8. 8. Why do you think parents might get angry in dealing with teachers? 1. 2. 3.
  9. 9. O O O O O O O O O O Reasons parents may get angry: Failure to communicate Lack of follow through They don’t know any other way to act They only have part of the story Assumptions/stereotypes Defensiveness Breaking promises Unwilling to apologize or admit mistakes Discredit parents’ knowledge of child Condescension, rudeness, intimidation, dishonesty
  10. 10. Parenting Styles -Get to know the parents O Enabling Parent: Over-protective, helicopters. Rescues and protects child. Results in child’s lack of confidence. Child is dependent on parent. Parent will blame others. They view children as fragile. O Authoritative Parent: Bossy, demanding, explosive, hostile. Parents tell child what to do because they can’t think for themselves. Restriction of privileges. Adults know what is best. No questioning of parent.
  11. 11. Parenting Styles -Get to know the parents O Absent Parent: Missing, unattached. Disinterested in being involved. No support, attention, or love. Inconsistent discipline. Parents make excuses about their own behavior. O Rational Parent: Assertive, nurturing, respectful and reasonable. Intervene when appropriate. Want child to be independent thinker.
  12. 12. Have you ever been under attack by a parent? What did you do? O Share examples.
  13. 13. When you are under attack. 1. 2. 3. 4. Check your self-talk. Are your thoughts making you angry? If you made a mistake-admit it and apologize. Put yourself in the parents ’ shoes. How would you feel? Affirm the parent ’s intent. “You are trying the best you can.” “You are trying to protect your child.”
  14. 14. Avoid triggers O O O O O O O O O O O O O Trouble Worried Angry Fed up Upset Annoyed Sick of problem Don’t know what to do But Never Always Tired of I have 27 other students to worry about
  15. 15. Use caring statements O “Your child matters.” O “Your child’s success is important.” O “I care about your child’s success.” O “Your child is important.” O “How can we improve the situation for your child?”
  16. 16. Disarm Criticism O If criticism is justified, admit and apologize. O If criticism is not justified try the following: Listen without interrupting. Don’t be defensive. Ask for more information. Refocus the conversation back to the original point.
  17. 17. Refocusing Technique O “I hear you are upset about his behavior. We need to talk about how we can work together to help him.” O “I see you’re frustrated because you feel nothing works. I know that if we work together it can be different.” O “We are meeting today because we both care about Mike’s progress.”
  18. 18. Express disagreement by sayingO “I’d like to offer another idea.” O “Here’s another thought.” O “Have you ever thought about this?”
  19. 19. Contact parents at the first sign of a problem. O A common complaint among parents is that teachers wait too long before contacting them about a problem. Your own child test: O How would you want your child’s teacher to handle this? For example, if your child forgot homework one day would you want to be called? If your child forgot his homework 3-4 days in a row would you want to be called?
  20. 20. Phone call to parents. Steps to take. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Start with a concern statement Describe the behavior specifically Tell what you have done Ask for parent input State what you would like the parent to do Close with confidence Date for follow-up
  21. 21. Active Listening and Validation Active Listening O “You are saying…” O “You feel that because…” O “Correct me if I am wrong…” Ask questions O “Can you tell me more?” O “Could you give me an example?” Get to the point O “What do you want to see happen? Validation O “I can see why you are upset.” O “I’m sorry you’re feeling unsupported.” Feelings—give it a name O Terrified, panicked, frustrated, anxious, discouraged Give options O “Do you think it might be possible to…?” O “One thing I thought might help is…”
  22. 22. Practice: Respond to the following 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. “If the work was more interesting, you’d be getting better results.” “My son has a difficult time with female teachers.” “Perhaps if you can’t handle the class you shouldn’t be a teacher.” “When my child is at school he is your responsibility.” “My child feels like you are always picking on him.”
  23. 23. Tips to take with you. O Don’t make promises you can’t keep O Apologize when you are wrong O Tell the truth O Be thorough and conscientious O Attack the problem, never the person. O Build people up whenever you can.

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