Parents and teachers working together, that’s the dream. Whether it’s exam season or start of term, parents are often keen to involve themselves in the education and wellbeing of their child. As well meaning as their questions may be, it can sometimes cause frustration for teachers.
There are so many ways a teacher can communicate with parents, it’s a minefield. We’ve picked five of the most common questions teachers tell us they’re asked on a regular basis and offer our tips on handling them. Worry no more…
Why is my child doing different work to their friend?
With conversations such as these, it’s always best to reassure the parent or guardian how their child’s learning is progressing.
For some parents, it can be a worry to see another child working on something more advanced than the work set to their child. In situations like these, it is important to help the parent understand each child is an individual and progresses at their own pace.
Face-to-face meetings with parents to discuss learning progression can be a great way to ease worries and build support for your learning plan.
Why is my child not being taught in the right way/a certain way?
You may find that many parents and guardians are working in education themselves, whether that’s in a teaching role, SBM or other area. Parents in these positions feel they have more understanding about what their child is learning, but how they’re learning too.
Even from the same curriculum, core subjects such as maths and English can be taught in different styles to achieve the same result. It can be a great idea to invite keen parents in to discuss the ways you’re teaching things such as phonics and maths. Who knows? They may love your teaching method so much that they take it away and try it for themselves!
Are you challenging my child enough?
In the same way you may receive calls from parents with children struggling with their learning, you may receive calls from parents who are keen to push their child to the top of the class. These are usually the competitive parents with high expectations and you’ll probably hear from them most frequently in time of stress, which could be anything from exam season to parents’ evening.
These parents will want to hear that their child is mixing in ‘top sets’ or working with other children who are working above the national average. It can be helpful for both parent and child to spend some time with the parent face to face, explaining where their child’s strengths and weaknesses lie. By encouraging them to focus on helping their weaknesses, which could include softer skills, it will help their child with a progression plan and satisfy the parent’s desire for additional challenges.
Can we meet with you more often?
Although it can seem daunting timewise, these parents are often nervous and mean well in their intent. They may be worried about their child’s progression or perhaps they’re keen to be involved in their child’s education a little more. Reassure them everything is fine and remind them although you are busy with paperwork, you will be in touch if there is cause for concern at the earliest opportunity.
It is important to stand firm and remind parents they can speak in depth at your regular parents’ evenings and for out of the ordinary concerns, you have email.