According to school in Dehradun guardians, these days seem to have formed a rigid ideology that the teachers are responsible for developing the prodigious personality of their child. They levy this task on the teachers, without realising the importance and necessity of their involvement. A parent-teacher meeting is one such opportunity when the teachers and the parents can debate and discuss the performance of their child. A co-ordinated approach by the parents and the teachers can lead to an efficient personality building of a child.
Sometimes teachers find the parent-teacher conference to be a very dreadful and challenging business, as parents tend to argue and blame the teacher majority of the times. The process becomes more intricate when an Indian boarding school is involved. Guardians of the children in a residential school are generally more possessive. Since the child in a hostel is under the teacher’s influence 24/7, parents hold the faculties responsible for everything. To ensure its effectiveness and success, teachers should furnish optimum consideration in the planning of this event.
Here are a few suggestions that the teachers can apply for conducting a productive parent-teacher conference:-
- Offer a convenient schedule:- These days, both the parents of the student are working professionals. They may find difficult managing time for a parent-teacher meeting. Consult with all the parents before deciding upon a date and the time of the event. Some parents may not make it physically to the meeting, so offer them an option of Skype or FaceTime.
- Body Language:- Acquire a more welcoming and professional posture. Create a relaxed aura and make the parents feel comfortable in your company. A slacked postured, crossed arms, straight glare, stern expressions and crossed legs portrays a very negative message. The parents may feel un-comfortable in confronting with you if you utilise such actions. Welcome them with an assuring smile and a firm handshake.
- Eulogise the positives of the student:- Parent feels more content and when the efforts of their child are recognised. Glorify the positive attributes of the students in front of their parents. Those attributes can be outside their academic performances like the child may be helpful, cheerful, persistent, etc.. Such recognitions builds up and motivates a child and his/her parent’s confidence.
- Inspire more questioning:- Parents and peers feel more connected to the teachers who encourage a more inquiring conversation. Be sure that you promote the parents to ask questions and clear their doubts. Be patient and give them time to think. Please provide your contact details and phone number to them in case they want to talk about something. Also, try to stay in frequent contact with the parents, especially if you are a teacher in a boarding school.
- Hire a translator:- Children comes to school from different communities and cultures. Sometimes the parents of the students may be foreigners to that particular place and not be familiar with the universal language. Due to all this, it is always a good idea to employ a translator. A translator will aid in enhancing the communicative environment, and you will be able to interpret the parent’s concerns more efficiently. Many people do not know or speak English. Therefore, never enforce an English conversation to make them feel incontinent or embarrassed.
- Never reciprocate violent behaviour:- Parents sometimes might behave over-protective and take criticism about their children in a negative light. They may indulge in some hostile act and use abusive language. No matter how extreme the condition may become, keep yourself calm and composed and never respond with the same hostile and offensive behaviour. Let the parents lead the conversation and be more attentive and accepting towards them. Act more diplomatic and together draw out a plan that works best for the child. Also always provide emphasis on the positive traits of the child. When submitting feedback regarding some misconduct, make it subtle. Do not convey the message in an insulting manner, instead try to deliver it as an improvement strategy using a more. Retain professionalism at all times.
- Identify the student’s talent and set clear goals:- Everybody is gifted with a particular set of abilities. Every student has their specialities and interest. Identify the specialities of the students and inform their parents about the same. Co-ordinate with the parents and help in setting the most beneficial and clear set of goals for the child. This will ensure a more fruitful life for a child also filled with happiness and satisfaction.
A parent-teacher conference is a crucial part of the school’s curriculum. It should be given importance, and the parents should be made aware of its various advantages. Parents should also avoid skipping these meetings as this the best way in which they can know about their child’s life. With the combined efforts of the parents and teachers, the children experience better guidance and subsequently perform better.