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Tips for Effective Parent-Teacher Communication

Divya Bichu
Worried about your first round of parent-teacher meeting? These jitters will disappear as you go through this tip-filled story about effective parent-teacher communication.
It is said that teachers lay the basic foundation in building your child's successful future. Probably that is why teaching is known as a noble profession. Apart from educating pupils, a teacher's professional duties extend way beyond just formal teaching. They have the ability to influence a student's perception.
Parents no doubt are equal partners in shaping the future of their kids. Moreover, parental involvement can boost a child's motivation for learning and develops a positive attitude about the school in general.
When parents form an effective partnership with a teacher, they can definitely help their kid do well academically as well as professionally. So, how do you develop a great rapport with the teacher? From the teacher's perspective, how do you react if a overwrought parent shows up? Given below are tips for both teachers and parents respectively to effectively communicate with each other.

Parent-Teacher Communication Tips

Tips for Teachers

  • When you call on your student's parents, make sure you are cool and composed. Don't make it sound serious or like something is really wrong, we need to talk. Remember parents are sure to panic and might scold their kid, after they hang up the phone.
Don't discuss the issue over the phone, but give them some hints so that they are mentally prepared when they come to see you. In the meeting too, slowly unveil the issue, discuss it and come to a conclusion, which is approved by both of you.
  • After you call up the parents, there is every possibility that the parent might rush to the school to see you. Make it a point to not entertain them at that time, even if you are free. Stress on scheduling a meeting later on the same day, or the following day. 
This will give you a chance to prepare yourself for the meeting and the parent will cool down too. It is important that neither of you are excited or paranoid about the issue, a cool head can bring out the best results from a discussion.
  • It is not easy for any parent to digest the fact that their child is a "problem child" and as teachers it is important you don't encourage such thoughts in parents. No doubt it is important for you to address the issue related to the child, however don't just put forth the problems, at least come up with some concrete ways to tackle the problem.
Let the parent know they can trust you! Explain the strategy, ask for their inputs, if any, and together reach to a conclusion. And make sure the parent too is equally involved in addressing the issue concerning their child.
  • Sometimes, parents come to meet you even when they are not called for, it is because they want to make sure that their kid is performing well at school. Hear them out, probably they want someone to hear them out, or want to voice their concerns. Assure the parents about their kid's performance and be positive. 
Teachers should never communicate negative news about the child as that is more likely to discourage parents. Tell the parents about their child's learning activities, accomplishments if any and tactfully tell them how they can improve their child's learning at home.

Tips for Parents

  • The most common mistake parents make is that they sit back and wait for the teachers to come to them with issues. If you know your kid is a little weak at grasping things, make it a point to communicate with his teacher regularly. 
Keep a weekly or monthly track of his/her improvements. The teacher in such a case will definitely understand your concern and help you in all ways she can, to resolve the issue.
  • When you are called by the teacher, don't panic. The teacher in the first place called you because she is concerned and wants to see her students do well. Realize the purpose. Go with a cool head it will only help you to come to a better conclusion. Be open to strategies and ideas the teacher introduces you to. Together work on the same, it will only help you raise the kid better.
  • Your child's teacher may be younger or older to you, whatever the case may be respect her. Because a teacher can handle something with your child in a better way than you can, since they are trained that way. She is definitely concerned about your child, the reason why she is helping you out with the same. 
Everyone likes to be praised. If the strategy drawn by the teacher is working, or you see your child favorably responding to the problem, let the teacher know it. Thank her for the same, or at least acknowledge her efforts.
  • There will be cases when neither of you would want to agree on some common point, in such cases don't storm into the principal's office individually, make sure both of you approach him/her together and sort out the matter. It'll help both the parties to maintain cordial relations amongst themselves, which in turn will be beneficial for your child.
I am sure this story will assist and facilitate positive, clear expectations for all involved, while contributing to a safe school climate for your little one. Try to give every act of yours a deep thought without jumping to sudden conclusions.