Friday, October 02, 2009

Conference Time

We're six weeks into the school year and parents and teachers are coming to the table to talk. Just thought I'd include a few reminders for all of us.

How to Talk So Teachers Will Listen
by Vicki Caruana

Reprinted from the April/May 2004 issue of the National PTA Magazine "Our Children"

Education is all about relationship-teachers in relationship with children; parents in relationship with children; and parents in relationship with teachers. The health of these relationships can positively or negatively affect the academic success of the child. And after all, it is all about the child.

Miscommunication is probably the biggest obstacle to a healthy relationship, and parents and teachers are no exception. Notes home disappear in the black hole we call the backpack. Telephone tag is the most popular game. And e-mails are easily put off or misinterpreted. Face-to-face conferences are the best way to build better relationships with teachers, but two obstacles face that meeting: lack of time and lack of understanding.

Teachers and parents are on the same team-most just don't know it. If parents and teachers are really to partner in the education of a child, they must first set the groundwork for a strong relationship. As much as parents would prefer that teachers take the first step in forming this crucial relationship, they shouldn't wait for it. If there are problems that need to be resolved, parents can follow these suggestions toward mutual resolution. Teachers do not receive enough preparation about how to work with parents, so keep this in mind as you nurture these fragile, yet important relationships.