How to handle a difficult parent teacher conference

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How to handle a tough parent-teacher meeting

  • Take a breath.
    If the teacher focuses on issues your child is having at school, before responding, take a breath and…
  • Be clear.
    If you are coming to the teacher with a problem you’re concerned about, try to be as clear as possible. Some…
  • Give the teacher helpful information.
    No one knows your kid better than you do. If…

7 Tips for Teachers on Dealing with Difficult Parents
  1. No Surprises. …
  2. Meet Face-to-Face with Parents. …
  3. Alert Your Principal or Department Chair to the Situation. …
  4. Listen and Ask Questions. …
  5. Try to Find Things You Agree On. …
  6. Don’t Allow Yourself to Be Pressured. …
  7. Know When the Conversation Is Over.

Full
Answer

Is the parent-teacher conference stressful?

The parent-teacher conference can be a stressful time for both parents and teachers – even more so if your child possibly has a problem. This article offers strategies for getting the most out of the conference, and also includes stories from veteran teachers of successful (and not-so-successful) parent-teacher conferences.

How do you respond to unexpected news at a parent-teacher conference?

Here are some ways to respond when the parent-teacher conference includes some unexpected news, as suggested by the National PTA: Avoid angry or apologetic reactions. Instead, ask for examples. Ask what is being done about the problem and what strategies seem to help at school.

How do I prepare for Parent-Teacher Conferences?

Rubrics and teacher guides that outline grade-level expectations can also be helpful. Even for students performing at or above academic expectations, samples of work are a great way to show parents how their children are doing. In the case of student misbehavior, incident logs and anecdotal notes should be prepared to show parents at conferences.

How can teachers maximize the success of Parent-Teacher meetings?

Here are some general strategies that teachers can use to maximize the success of any parent-teacher meeting. Regular communication with parents throughout the year can prevent issues down the road so that there is not as much to discuss at a single conference.

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What should you not say at a parent teacher conference?

10 Things Not to Say at a Parent Teacher Conference“We don’t read at home.”“I have to help him with everything.” … “He doesn’t like school.” … “He doesn’t do well with a _____ teacher.” … “All you have to do is just call me.” … “He never acts this way at home.” … “I always believe my child.” … “There’s nothing else I can do.” … More items…•


How do you get through a parent teacher conference?

Here are eight tips to help you conduct masterful, action-oriented parent-teacher meetings.Be Proactive. … Be Welcoming. … Explain Objectives and Expectations. … Be Prepared. … Create an Action Plan. … Use the Good-Bad-Good Sandwich. … Don’t Tolerate Abuse. … Keep Lines of Communication Open.


How do you handle an angry parent conference?

10 Tips for Meeting with Challenging ParentsMake a connection early. … Continue with open communication. … If a parent is angry, don’t ignore it. … Don’t make promises. … Be careful what you put in writing. … Come to meetings prepared. … Show you care. … Don’t get defensive.More items…•


What do you say to parents during parent teacher conference?

When planning what to say at parent teacher conferences, prepare a way to end on a positive note. You could tell why you love having the child in your class, highlight an overall strength, or a special connection you have with the child.


Why do parents fear parent teacher conferences?

Some parents fear that they will be judged and.or criticized by the teacher – subtly or overtly – for not doing enough to assist their child academically or behaviorally. And if there is a difference of opinion patents fear that the teacher may take it out on their child in some way.


How do teachers deal with aggressive parents?

5 Dos for Dealing With Parents as a TeacherListen to the parents’ concerns. … Treat all parents with respect regardless of how irate they may be. … Be as honest as possible when responding to a parent’s complaints. … Take deep breaths in the face of frustration. … Keep the lines of communication open.


Should I be scared of parent-teacher conference?

It is quite normal for you to feel nervous about a parent teacher conference. This meeting might be your very first, it might be a special-called meeting for a specific issue, or there may be some baggage that comes with the present school year making you nervous.


What questions should I ask at parent-teacher conference?

Questions About the CurriculumCan you describe your teaching style?What skills are you working to develop right now?How do these skills relate to the goals of the entire school year?What are the five most important skills you want students to develop this year?Does my student have to take standardized tests?More items…•


How do you de escalate an angry parent?

You can handle angry parents by following these suggestions:Listen and Agree. Allow them the opportunity to vent without interruption. … Categorize. … Empathize. … Take Responsibility and Apologize. … Let Them Know You’re Going to Fix It. … Follow Up. … Additional Valuable Tips. … Continue Reading.


How do you deal with difficult demanding parents?

10 Strategies for Dealing with Difficult ParentsOriginally Posted by Keely Keller on our partner site Learner’s Edge.1.) Keep Your Cool.2.) Build the Parents/Guardians Trust.3.) Reach out to the Community.4.) Show You Care.5.) Establish Your Authority.6.) Speak with a Low Voice.7.) Realize Everyone Makes Mistakes.More items…•


How do you handle parent complaints?

Here’s how in three steps:Be friendly. No matter how irritated or upset a parent behaves, it’s never a good idea to respond in kind. You’ll only make things worse. … Listen. Give the parent as much time as they need to express their feelings. … Give it to them straight. The most effective response is direct and honest.


What do teachers talk about at parent-teacher conferences?

Good parent–teacher conferences focus on how well the child is doing in school. They also talk about how the child can do even better. To get ready for the conversation, look at your child’s homework, tests, and notices before the conference. Be sure to bring a list of questions that you would like to ask the teacher.


What should teachers do to effectively deal with unplanned parent conferences?

What should teachers do to effectively deal with unplanned parent conferences? Listen to the parents until they are finished talking. What does it mean to listen effectively? Listening for the real content and feelings in a person’s message and restating the message to assure you understand.


What should I talk about at parent-teacher conferences?

Make a list of topics that you want to discuss with the teacher and that you think the teacher should know, such as your concerns about the school, the child’s home life, any major changes in your family, habits, hobbies, part-time jobs, religious holidays, or anything that is worrying your child.


What do parents want to hear at conferences?

Be sure to explain any terms, curriculum titles, or even words on progress reports that aren’t commonly used outside the school setting. Ask questions and listen. Ask parents or guardians for their input about students’ strengths, needs, and learning styles, as well as their hopes and dreams for their children.


What are two strategies you could try for getting such hard to reach parents to have a conference with you about their child’s progress?

Try to remain calm and follow a few tips from the National Education Association:Emphasize the positive.Let the parents talk first.Use active listening. … Discuss how both parties want what’s best for the child.Agree on a strategy and get on the same page before including the child in the conversation.


What parents want to hear from teachers?

Dear Teachers: Here are 10 Things Every Parent Wants You to KnowDear Teachers, Here are 10 Things Every Parent Wants You to Know…I respect, appreciate, and support you.I am sending you my baby, my whole world.My child is gifted.I care just as much about how my child treats others as I do about what he is learning.More items…•


How would you deal with a rude or confrontational parent?

Dealing With Angry ParentsCauses of Calamities. Anger is simply a way of expressing displeasure with a situation or decision. … Stay Calm. The worst thing that you can do is rise to their level of heightened emotion. … Step into their shoes. … Hold Your Own. … Have solutions, not problems. … Pain from Problems.


How do you respond to a rude parent?

I’m happy to help!” I do this no matter the situation because I really am here to help. I’m not here to parent, I’m not here to accept blame for what parents should be doing or not doing, and I’m not here to “work for you.” I’m here to help. And I’m happy to help. Plus it’s always good to end on a positive note.


How do you handle working with resistant or uninvolved parents or teachers?

How to Deal with Uninvolved ParentsDon’t assume it’s because they don’t care. Often time teachers make the mistake of assuming parents that are uninvolved don’t care or are uninterested. … Examine the barriers stopping them. … Be more flexible. … Leverage other people.


What do you talk about at a parent teacher conference?

Make a list of topics that you want to discuss with the teacher and that you think the teacher should know, such as your concerns about the school, the child’s home life, any major changes in your family, habits, hobbies, part-time jobs, religious holidays, or anything that is worrying your child.


What should teachers do to effectively deal with unplanned parent conferences?

What should teachers do to effectively deal with unplanned parent conferences? Listen to the parents until they are finished talking. What does it mean to listen effectively? Listening for the real content and feelings in a person’s message and restating the message to assure you understand.


What strategies would facilitate productive parent-teacher conferences?

Parents’ Parent-Teacher Conference To-Do List:Plan ahead. Determine what you need to know.Make a list of questions. Review them and prioritize them.Identify goals. Find out what the teacher expects from your child and why.Listen to the teacher. … Seek at-home strategies. … Plan regular updates. … Get answers.


Why is parent-teacher conference important?

Take the parent-teacher conference as an opportunity to extend the lines of communication between home and school and develop a strategic plan for your students’ futures. Here are a few tips on how to handle the parent-teacher conference …


Can parents hear negative things about their children?

No parent wants to hear anything negative about their child. It’s always best to start with something positive, then follow it with what the child needs to work on, not what they are bad at.


What to keep in mind throughout the year?

1. No Surprises. This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind throughout the year: Make sure you keep parents apprised of any issues. If you think a student has learning problems and should be tested, don’t wait until the entire year has passed before suggesting it.


Do parents feel kindly toward their child’s teacher?

But some parents may not feel so kindly toward their child’s teacher as the year winds down. Perhaps their child failed a final exam and needs to go to summer school, or maybe their child struggled throughout the year and you recommended testing to determine if they have a learning disability.


Can a teacher change a grade?

A few parents may ask a teacher to change a grade or move their child forward even if he or she hasn’t fulfilled the requirements. You, of course, have to adhere to your professional ethics—and you don’t want the reputation of someone who can be manipulated by parents. If they want to, parents always have the option to escalate the problem to the principal.


Can parents be abusive?

It’s fine for parents to be angry, but it isn’t OK for them to be abusive. If that happens and it’s clear you’re not going to agree, it’s time to bring the conversation to a close. They may decide to take their complaint to the principal, and that’s fine. That’s how the system works.


Take a breath

If the teacher focuses on issues your child is having at school, before responding, take a breath and simply listen. No parent likes to hear negative things about their child — whether it’s bad behavior in class or a possible learning problem (such as difficulty with reading, writing, or math).


Be clear

If you are coming to the teacher with a problem you’re concerned about, try to be as clear as possible. Some parents worry that if they tell the teacher about an issue their child is having in class, the teacher will think they’re criticizing her — or that they’ll get their child into more trouble.


Give the teacher helpful information

No one knows your kid better than you do. If you’re worried that the teacher doesn’t get your child or is judging her unfairly, tell her whatever you can so that she better understands your child. (Click here for more information on what’s appropriate to share with the teacher.)


Move to solutions

Once you’ve talked about the problem, ask the teacher “What do you think?” or “What can we do to make this better?” This brings you from focusing on the problem to focusing on solutions. Also, by asking these questions, you’re letting the teacher know that you value her advice and are willing to work with her.


Get to know the teacher

Your meeting doesn’t have to be all business. Take a minute to get to know the teacher on other levels. In other words, treat her as a person by finding out more about her.


Hand out praise

In these conversations, people often focus on what’s not working, so the whole tone of the meeting can be negative. Instead, take time to point out the good stuff too! Express appreciation that the teacher is concerned enough to bring up problems to be addressed, and tell her about the good things she’s doing with your child.


How long does it take for a teacher to give a presentation?

Students share their work with their parents for the first half hour, and then teachers give a 30-minute presentation just for parents that builds on the work students are doing in school. Afterward, teachers provide related resources—games, websites, readings—that families can take home to use with their children.


What is 11th grade meeting?

In 11th grade, the student-led meetings are college and career focused. Students discuss their career interests and hopes for college, then create an action plan so they’re ready to apply. “School is not here to happen to students,” says Dan St. Louis, University Park’s principal. “They are an active participant.”.


Do parent teacher conferences have to be a headache?

Parent-teacher conferences don’t have to be such a headache. Educators weigh in on how to solve common problems.


Who suggested that parents think their kids are perfect?

To handle tricky situations when you have to give negative feedback at conferences, an approach suggested by Joe Hirsch, a leadership coach and former curriculum developer, might help.


Who is Maria Paredes?

While working as the director of community education in Creighton Elementary School District in Phoenix, Maria Paredes developed Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT), a new take on parent-teacher conferences that is now used by schools all over the country.


Who is Terri Eichholz?

Terri Eichholz, an elementary teacher of over 25 years, also suggests being proactive and getting ahead of the feedback. “Don’t wait for problems to arise. Make it a point to communicate frequently and positively so that you have already developed a relationship before you hit bumps in the road,” she says.


What should teachers have examples of student work available for reference at every parent-teacher conference?

Teachers should have examples of student work available for reference at every parent-teacher conference. Rubrics and teacher guides that outline grade-level expectations can also be helpful. Even for students performing at or above academic expectations, samples of work are a great way to show parents how their children are doing.


Why should parents attend parent teacher conferences?

The common goal of all parent-teacher conferences is to benefit the students and both parties are valuable resources in accomplishing this . Parents should know what you will cover and what they should bring up during a conference so that time is not wasted coming up with things to say.


What do parents and teachers want to talk about?

Parents and teachers may feel that there is a lot more to discuss than whether a student is meeting academic goals—many families also want to talk about social progress, accommodations and modifications for their child, behavior in and out of the classroom, and more.


Why should teachers position themselves close to parents?

Teachers should position themselves close to parents for comfort and engagement during conferences. Sitting behind a barrier such as a desk creates distance between you and makes it difficult to communicate.


What is the importance of communication between parents and teachers?

Updated October 08, 2019. Good communication between teachers and families is essential for student success. With multiple methods of communication available—including email, texts, and apps such as Remind —teachers have many choices about how they choose to communicate with parents and guardians.


How to deal with angry parents as a teacher?

Every teacher will face an angry parent at some point. Remain calm in the face of confrontation. Remind yourself in times of stress that you don’t know all of the baggage that the families of your students carry.


What is the most popular method of communication in school?

Face-to-face conferencing remains the most popular method of school-home communication, according to the results of the 2017 National Household Education Survey which reported that 78% of parents/guardians attended at least one conference that academic year.


Come prepared

The most important thing you can do to try to have a productive, positive conference is preparation ahead of time. Have any email correspondence printed, have student work ready and organized, any other documentation that might help you—tutorials offered, tutorials attended, reminders given, work from other students in the same class.


Make an effort to be dressed professionally and show that you have taken care with your appearance

You don’t need to buy or wear anything expensive or fancy necessarily (and if you are able to buy expensive things on your teacher’s paycheck, please let me know where you work so I can apply there immediately), but make sure this isn’t the day you’re wearing your most casual outfit either.


Ask an administrator to be present

You shouldn’t do this for every parent conference, but if you are genuinely nervous that things may get heated, ask for an administrator to sit in on it with you. Make sure you let parents know this ahead of time if you can so that it doesn’t look like you’re trying to be sneaky or catch them off-guard.


Rehearse for the worst, but hope for the best

When you’re at home or in your car, have a pretend conversation with the parent or parents in which they say the most absurd things imaginable, like, “Well, Steven says that you admitted to being the leader of a cult in your spare time,” or “We believe Katie is actually Albert Einstein reincarnated, so we know that it is not possible she’s ever been wrong in your class.” Practice your responses to these questions, (“Oh, Steven has such an imagination! Unfortunately, I think there’s a bit of a breakdown between what happens at school and what is being communicated at home.” And “Yes, Katie is so bright, and I love that about her! But even Albert Einstein had a tough time in school, and I want to make sure Katie makes it through this tough time using the incredible work ethic she and Albert share.”) Rehearsing for the worst won’t just prepare you for keeping a handle on your emotions, but chances are it won’t go nearly as badly as the worst you can imagine, so you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised..


Think about your boundaries before the meeting starts

Often we come in knowing what we won’t do (ask Nathan 2,491 times per day to write his homework down, give Monica an A on a project when she clearly deserves a C on the rubric, etc.). But equally important is knowing ahead of time what you are willing to do.


Remember that what is said at home is not always the same as what happens at school

Many times when you encounter scary parents, this is what has happened: kid comes home crying because he/she is upset about something that may or not have been within their control. Mom/Dad’s protective instinct kicks in (rightfully). Kid omits/misrepresents details in order to avoid trouble/blame. Mom and Dad go to teacher.


Keep your cool

It will be a lot harder for Those Parents to be mean to you if you’re treating them with kindness and respect.

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