Parent-Teacher Meetings: How to Make Them Work?
During the academic year, almost every school invites parents to come in for meetings and conferences. Teachers inform parents about the student’s progress in school and give ideas to improve their child’s performance. In addition, teachers also acknowledge the flaws and competencies of students but more like a stepping stone to foster improvement. After all, parents can be valuable allies in helping students achieve their goals.
However, most teachers are pretty nervous about parent-teacher meetings. Some think parents would blame them for their child’s poor grades, whereas others aren’t sure if anyone will attend the meeting. Instead of stressing about it, there are plenty of ways to make these meetings work. First, be proactive, welcoming, and send informative invites. Perhaps, you can list the meeting agenda and explain why it is essential for the parents to attend.
Likewise, keep communication lines open, answer questions, and listen to the parents. In addition to making the meetings productive, it is the ideal way to forge a bond. If you are wondering how? Have a look below. Here we are listing five ways how you can make parent-teacher meetings work.
1. Send Informative Invitations
Often, students have working parents who are too busy to attend school meetings. Similarly, some parents think these meetings are mundane. Well, it is time for teachers to change this mindset. You have to think about ‘How to Get Parents Involved in School’ without being assertive. Maybe, you can communicate the importance of attending parent-teacher meetings by sending informative invites. You can let parents know that they play a crucial role in a child’s education and development.
Moreover, mention on the invitation that the meeting would be an interactive session where they can ask questions. You can even inform parents about the meeting’s agenda, so they know what to expect. Lastly, remind parents to be respectful of other parents’ and allot time slots. It would assure parents that meetings won’t take hours and they can get back to work quickly.
2. Discuss Progress & Growth
As the goal of the meeting is to share information about a student’s academic progress, inform parents about their child’s ability and grades. Remember to use demonstrative work, examples, or test results when discussing results. Some parents might ask about other student’s grades but remind them that you are talking about their child’s progress.
If you want to discuss any sensitive topic, the trick is to highlight the positive points first. For instance, tell how Sarah’s writing shows an insight that none of the peers her age has and then move to the issue. You can explain how Sarah is often off-task and always on the phone during school hours. Discuss with parents how to deal with the problem and end the conversation with something positive.
3. Create an Action Plan
Undoubtedly, none of the parents want a long list of complaints and concerns about the student dumped in their laps. They are always more interested in knowing what the school can do to fix the problem. Therefore, teachers have to develop an action plan for every student. It should lay out the steps that parents and students have to take to improve performance. For instance, if students don’t write a composition because they can’t craft introductions, suggest solutions for this issue.
Perhaps, you can create an arrangement that the student would inform parents or teachers when they need help. In addition, parents would also ensure their child spends some time crafting essays. Although creating action plans can be a bit time-consuming for teachers, it is the best way to make parent-teacher meetings work.
4. Ask Questions & Listen to Parents
Usually, parent-teacher meetings are about teachers discussing students’ progress, but it is essential to take input from parents. Therefore, ask parents about the students’ strengths and learning styles. Also, ask what their child aspires to become when they grow up. Even simple questions like ‘does your child like school’ or ‘what’s their favorite subject’ can give teachers a lot of information. It will help them understand students better and can be helpful in the classroom.
Moreover, you have to listen to the students’ parents as well. If they want to discuss their child’s weaknesses or bad habits, tell them you are listening. It makes parents feel comfortable and ensures someone is taking good care of their child at school.
5. Stay in Contact with Parents
Most parents don’t expect to hear from teachers until the next meeting. Why not change this? You can explain to parents how they can stay in contact with school staff and the teachers. Perhaps, you can create a parent’s group on social media where they can have discussions. Likewise, teachers can use that forum to send updates about the student’s progress.
Additionally, contact the parents who did not attend the meeting. You can offer them alternative ways to communicate about the child’s progress to ensure they don’t feel left out. Having open lines of communication with the school staff and teachers ensures parents their child is in the right hands.
The purpose of parent-teacher meetings is to inform parents about the child’s program and growth based on the classroom. But unfortunately, parents don’t acknowledge the importance of these meetings. To make them work, teachers have to send agenda-based invites, ask questions, and discuss the intervention strategies to support students’ learning. Likewise, teachers have to open communication lines so that parents can stay in touch.