"Our words have power. They impact others, but they also impact us." -Michael Hyatt
While it is true that actions speak far grander than words, we all possess the power to talk and utter words and sentences in the languages we have mastered. It is essential to remember that our terms can build up or tear down and I think it's obvious which one we should focus on.
Knowing that we have the ability to use our words towards the greater good should encourage us to always speak with graciousness and avoid any phrases that may arouse conflict or that may be accusatory.
Nevertheless, at Superprof, we completely understand that there are various situations in life that provoke us and cause us to say some nasty things that we later regret; the worst is when personal matters are brought up or when friends and family are involved.
However, it is essential to state that our words can be tamed and we can say the correct thing in specific situations if we are well-trained and acquire the excellent and necessary quality of self-control. Also, in certain circumstances, such as being critiqued by your boss or during a parent-teacher conference, knowing what to say and how to say it is of the utmost importance.
Consequently, without any further delay, in today's article, we shall consider some of the best things for both parents and teachers to say at a parent-teacher conference.
Why Are Parent-Teacher Conferences Essential
If you're a passive parent who doesn't spend too much time thinking about the academic needs of your child, now is the time to change and play an active part!
But seriously, do I really have to attend parents evening for my child? We know, we know, parents evening can sometimes be an exhausting experience; especially for those who work 40-60 hour weeks and just want to get home and spend time with their children. Nevertheless, the importance of parent-teacher conferences cannot be refuted since it is essential for the academic growth of a student.
The following are some essential reasons explaining why parents should attend teachers conferences:
- Creates a Bridge Between Teachers and Parents: without frequent communication between parents and teachers, it is impossible to help students reach their academic goals. Teachers need to know who a student's parents are since it will give them an angle that was previously unavailable.
- It Shows You Care: when teachers see their students mother or father at conferences, it makes them feel good since it demonstrates to them that they actually care about their well-being and education; even if they have only gone to complain!
Therefore, we hugely suggest that at least one parent attend parents evening to get an idea about how to overcome any difficulties in your child and have them soar to success. Also, sometimes parents bring their son or daughter with them so that they can get to the bottom of a tricky situation; the choice is yours!
Read the following subheadings to find out what parents and teachers should both say at a parent-teacher conference.
What the Mother or Father Should Say at Parents Evening
"My parents are my backbone. Still are. They're the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40." -Kobe Bryant
As the late great Kobe Bryant stated above, parents are a child's biggest fan; they will do anything to see them succeed and reach their potential.
It is true that a parent's love is unparalleled and cannot be compared with anything else; however, at times, it seems that mothers and fathers can "over love" their child and defend them at any cost. Even when their children are wrong and need correction from other authority figures such as teachers, parents play the blame game; this becomes quite difficult for educators who genuinely want the best for students.
Therefore, to prevent screaming fits and uncomfortable situations at parents evening, we have provided the following list about things parents should say during parent-teacher conferences:
- DON'T Raise Your Voice and DO Speak Calmly: although teachers try their best to speak positively, there will be some negative aspects of your child's work that need to be worked on. Therefore, instead of being too defensive and refusing to accept the advice, speak calmly to find common ground and at all costs DO NOT get upset and cause a scene. As a parent, it's not so much what you say to the educator but rather how you say that will leave a lasting impact. Remember, no good ever comes out of yelling at the teacher!
- Ask Questions: to truly understand the academic difficulties of your child, the best thing to do is ask the teacher questions to see what is going on. Issues such as, "In which areas can my child improve?" and "What can I do to help?" demonstrate to the instructor that you are dedicated to helping your child reach his/her academic goals.
- Mention Potential Problems: before hearing from what the teacher has to say, it is sometimes best for parents to state some of the personal issues that their child may be facing and why it has affected their academic performance. By discussing internal issues beforehand, teachers are able to tailor their responses to the information that was just recently provided. Also, instructors are dedicated to helping all their students so they will, without a doubt, work with any issues that may arise.
- Commend the Teacher: of all professionals teachers are by far the most overworked and underpaid. In today's world, being an academic instructor is even more difficult since children have so many problems in life. Therefore, instead of berating them for something that probably isn't their fault, parents should start off by commending their teachers for hard work and sleepless nights.
If mothers and fathers follow the previously mentioned things to say, they will prove to be golden and make strong bonds with their child's instructor.
The Best Things for a Teacher to Mention During the Meeting
"A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others." -Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Before we begin, if you're a teacher and your reading this blog article, you deserve sincere and enthusiastic commendation for the hard work you are doing each and every day; applause!
Nonetheless, since we have just finished counselling parents about what should be said during parents night, it is essential to realise that teachers need the same amount of advice to adequately prepare themselves for one of the most stressful nights of the year; if only it occurred just once a school year and not per semester!
Educators with experience are familiar with the gruelling experience that is parent-teacher conferences and know what should be expressed and what should not be kept silent by all means. Also, since academic instructors are the first people that parents blame when their children are not performing as well as they would like, teachers need advice as to what they should say to angry parents.
Therefore, the following are the best things that a teacher should utter at parents evening:
- Offer a Friendly Welcome: even the most furious parents can be won with a friendly smile and a polite greeting such as, 'How are you doing this evening?' Remember to stay positive in the beginning and create a rapport with the parent before moving onto the significant issues. Also, don't forget that farewells are just as important and should be warm to leave a good impression.
- Mention the Positives: every parent likes to hear the good things that their child is doing; therefore, by starting with the outstanding achievements of a student, teachers put the parents at ease which makes it easier to talk about serious matters later on. Talk about good test results, times when the student stood up for what is right etc.
- Be Honest and Impartial: the last you want to do at a parent-teacher conference is blame other students and talk behind their backs, even if parents are inciting you to do so. Be partial and mention that you are uncomfortable talking negatively about others and instead wish to focus on the growth of their child. By being honest about all matters from the beginning, parents will respect your worldview and not get involved in trivial things.
- Politely Discuss Areas of Improvement: since parents are always swift to through their responsibilities at the teacher and blame them, teachers need to have thick skin and be ready for all types of confrontation. Instead of contributing to a hostile environment, it is best to politely apologise for any inconveniences and request that the majority of the conversation be spent discussing the academic needs of the student and how they can reach their potential. Discussing goals and letting the parent know that you will try anything to have their child succeed is highly recommended and should not be taken lightly by teachers.
- Offer Contact Information: to make parents feel better and that you actually care about their child's academic progress, offer your contact information so that they can follow-up and see how things are going. This establishes a good rapport and ensures that student goals are met.
By being well-prepared and processing the previously mentioned things to say, teachers become skilled masters at handling stressful situations during parents evening.
In conclusion, we hope that both teachers and parents have appreciated the advice in today's article towards peaceful relations that will strengthen their bond and contribute to a positive learning environment for the student/child.