Teaching is easy. I bet you’re laughing right now. But really. Think about it. You know your subject. You are passionate about your content. You know what’s difficult? Talking to parents. Think about it for a moment. Even if all you’re doing is giving the parent an update on how their child is doing, it can be a nerve-wracking conversation. But there are ways to make it a less daunting prospect.
First off, relax. Both you and the parent(s) want the best for the student. Both of you are also probably nervous. Don’t get defensive. Both of you do know best and now you have to find a middle ground.
Before you start the meeting, have an idea of what you want to talk to the parent about. Even if all you can think of are negatives, make sure to have some positives. Start off with those positives. But don’t use them all up, keep one in reserve for the end. You want to end on that positive note.
Parents, please don’t go into the meeting thinking that the teacher is going to tell you all the things they think you are doing wrong. While you’ve known your child longer, they see your child in a different light. I promise you, your child can sometimes seem like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when you and the teacher compare notes. And you might not know which side of the child you’re seeing.
Finally, as with all meetings, both parties need to go into the meeting with an open mind. In the long run, both the teacher and the parent want what is best for the student. That’s something we can all agree on.