Working with parents is an everyday part of the job of primary teachers particularly in younger classes. Therefore, it is vital to build good relationships with them.
These tips will help when you are working with parents.
- Be friendly but remain professional (When meeting a parent thank them for taking the time to see you, introduce yourself as Ms _____ or Mr ______ and address the parent in the same way.)
- Have a notebook (Explain that you are going to write down any concerns/issues the parent may have so that you can follow up appropriately.)
- If you agree to do something – do it! (Don’t make promises you can’t keep).
- Get parents on board. If you have a child with behaviour issues, try to discuss these issues with parents as soon as possible. Discuss the strategies which need to be used so that the child gets the same message at home and in school.
- You are not a psychologist so don’t ‘diagnose’ children or even give your opinion. Advise the parent on what they need to do to get a diagnosis and discuss a variety of strategies that might help.
- Be honest but fair. Don’t sugarcoat it – if the behaviour is bad explain how it disrupts the other children.
- Make sure you have positives and negatives to share with the parent. Start with a positive, then the problem and then end on a positive. (This shows the parent that you value their child and recognise their good qualities)