Articles for Teachers
I'm more terrified of facing parents for five minutes than I am of the class for an hour!
Meeting a parent of a student to discuss their children can be a daunting experience.
You are in a position of professional authority, so greet them cordially, make absolutely sure who you are supposed to be talking about and start with a resume of achievement based on marks and grades and backed up by observations and examples.
Parent of student, perhaps accompanied by their children, may come with an entirely unexpected agenda and you must be prepared to deal with that or at least to commit to pass the issue on and report back on progress. The more information you have at your fingertips, the better.
There's more to assessment than marks, so broaden your assessment to skills abilities generally. Make notes of this so you can narrate personalized events and examples of behavior and attainment.
Make positive suggestions for improvement.
Invite comment from parents and listen to them.
Deal with any concerns.
Record any real or imagined concerns parents have and agree to act upon them or refer them on.
Collect exercise books and marked work to refer to if necessary. Poring over every piece of work will be too time-consuming for a brief appointment but it may be useful to refer to for specific cases.
Keep to time. Be prepared to bring the appointment to an end with a brisk conclusion and a smile. Also be prepared to sum up an excellent pupil with an enthusiastic but very brief eulogy; wise parents will beam and leave without the need for greater detail.
Excessive generalities - especially when trying to hide the fact you don't know the child.
After the initial report, talking too much. This should be a two-way meeting.
Comments on the supposed failings of other teachers or the school in general.
Overrunning the time slot.
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