Teachers should be prepared to see angry parents when their child is experiencing discipline problems or is failing. It is also important to have good documentation of negative actions by the student in either area. Teachers must take the time to communicate directly with the parent any time they sense a problem arising. The best defense is good public relations. Quickly establishing positive communication with as many parents as possible is the first step toward positive relations. The more communication between parents and teachers, the fewer problems a teacher will usually experience. At the beginning of the year (or anytime you get a new student) send a note or phone each child’s parent(s) introducing yourself and outlining your goals for the class. Be sure you have good things to say about each child. You might also want to have a questionnaire asking for the following information: current home address, home and work phone numbers for both parents, and any special needs of the child. A monthly letter or newsletter to your students’ parents will do wonders for establishing positive communications. Include a calendar of objectives and plans for each week and the general topics to be studied. Provide parents with ideas for at-home activities that will complement school work. Continue to establish positive communication with individual parents by sending home positive notes or writing compliments on papers. One word or one sentence is all that it takes. Provide parents with samples of their child’s work or display collections of work done by the class. Inform parents about their child’s school successes and where improvement is needed. Use success cards, stickers, etc., whenever possible. Teachers should strive to make the parent feel comfortable coming directly to them with problems. If a teacher has established a working relationship with the parents, conferring together to help the student learn self-discipline or pass the subject will be much easier.

Establishing Good Communications

  • Send introduction letter to parents.
  • Send parent questionnaire.
  • Write monthly newsletter or letter.
  • Give positive notes, cards, stickers, etc.
  • Invite parents to view collection of work.
  • Work on good discipline as hard as you work at good teaching.

Effective Ways Of Dealing With Problems

  • Time Out
  • Denial of privileges
  • Send copies of infraction notices home on Thursday so they will arrive on Friday.
  • Call to parent at home.
  • Call at work (let student talk, as well)
  • Call to emergency number
  • Mailgram/registered letter
  • Visit to the office

Communicating In Conference

  • Listen to everything said.
  • Let the parent(s) talk.
  • Watch body language (yours and theirs).
  • Don’t overwhelm the parent(s).
  • Avoid physical barriers.
  • Address the parent(s) by name.
  • Look parent(s) in the eye.
  • State the problem in specific terms.
  • Offer ideas for help.
  • Ask for their help.
  • Summarize the conversation.
  • If possible, end on a positive note.
  • Send follow-up note.
  • Do not downgrade the consequences.

If The Conference Becomes Hostile

  • Ask for an end to the meeting.
  • Move the conference to the office.
  • Watch what you say.
  • Ask for a break (go to the restroom).
  • Stay calm, speak slowly, and don’t become angry.
  • Ask that complaints against you be put in writing.
  • Stay there. Do not end the conference unless you have been given permission to leave.