If you've ever had a parent inquire if you "actually have any children of your own," as though your answer would define your fitness for the profession, take a deep breath and step back from the offense. After all, parents do have a unique view--of their own children, at least. And we might as well know what it is.
This well thought out list, presented in the form of quotes and themes, provides a teachers' meeting conversation starter for each item. The question then becomes "How will we as educators address these relevant concerns?"
Ah, yes, the dreaded parent-teacher conference. You as the teacher are not looking forward to it, but guess what? Neither are the parents. However, this 5-point primer is the starting point for a more productive and positive meeting.
The bottom line is this, we can't always provide every service the parents want us to. However, there are some expectations that are well within reason, and we need to take them to heart. This list explains.
Why not use the simple assignment in this video to gather input from students themselves? Sometimes parents can't or won't express the struggles at home, and students themselves are more willing to be transparent.
Sometimes a little pre-loading can go a long way. If you're looking for ways of addressing the parent-teacher relationship, either in teachers' meeting or even in your parent newsletter, this article provides plenty of information to get the conversation started.
This video playlist ranges from videos on getting parents involved in the classroom to building a successful PTA. In each case, it's about building understanding and opening the lines of communication between teachers and the parents of their students.
Regardless of the input (or lack of input) from parents, we as teachers need to find a way to work alongside parents, connecting with them and making them allies to the best of our ability. This article is aimed at new teachers, but let's be honest, we could all use a refresher from time to time.