Communicating with parents by @McGillycuddy101

Name: Kathleen McGillycuddy
Twitter name: @McGillycuddy101
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Assistant Headteacher
What is your advice about? Communicating with parents

  1. Talk to parents – most parents respond well to communications and just want their child to do well. Don’t be afraid!
  2. Show you are concerned about their child and really want them to be happy/progress – don’t nag the parent or tell them off even if you are feeling frustrated.
  3. Stick to your promises – if you have said you will call them, send work home or talk to someone then do it. You may have 100s of students but they only have their child.
  4. Don’t be drawn into any arguments – if a parent is really unhappy refer them to your team leader or SLT.
  5. You are the ambassador of your school for that parent – they listen to everything you say and take it seriously. Before any communication plan what you will say.

Contacting Parents by @sara_lou_loves

Name: SaraLouise
Twitter:  @sara_lou_loves
Sector:  Secondary
Subject: English
Position: 2ic/KS4 Coordinator
5 Bits of Advice About: Contacting parents

  1. Positive contact home is important and can build relationships. Always try to open and close a conversation with positives-it shows you care.
  2. Double check parent details for correct names and surnames as well as child protection issues- some parents must/must not receive the contact. Be sure before you call.
  3. Golden rule: start with a positive, explain the issue, explain the impact of the issue, explain what you have done already, tell them what you intend to do, end with a positive.
  4. Have specific data and facts ready before you call. Vague comments aren’t helpful. Most parents cannot and will not argue with specific data/ numbers.
  5. Remember, we may teach over 200 students a week but to the parent you are on the phone to, only their child matters. As a parent, you will understand that too.

Dealing with difficult parent phone calls by @molin_bryan

Name: Bryan Molin
Twitter:  @molin_bryan
Sector:  Secondary
Subject: Maths
Position: Assistant Headteacher
5 Bits of Advice About: Dealing with difficult parent phone calls

  1. Eat that frog. If you know it’s going to be difficult the sooner it’s done the better.
  2. Have a plan about what to say and go through it with a trusted leader.
  3. Keep calm, polite and assertive. Listen more than you speak.
  4. Keep the conversation factual and focus on discussing behaviours not the person.
  5. If you are being shouted at or offended, calmly tell the parent you will need to refer the matter upwards and end the call politely. Don’t tolerate abuse.

Parents and Carers by @Top_kat1

Name: Kate
Twitter name: @Top_kat1
Sector: Primary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: SLE / Teaching School
What is your advice about? Parents and Carers

1: Greet and meet them as often as you can; before and after school. Build your relationship as it supports your knowledge of their child. Win:win!

2: Be honest with them. Don’t wait to discuss an issue. Raise anything as soon as possible. Face to face if you can.

3: Prepare for parents evening. What progress? What next? How to help at home (pack of bits really supports this) and how they are socially. The whole child.

4: Parents evening #2: schedule longer conversations for a different night. A long queue of missed times will not make for happy meetings.

5: Accentuate the positive- try to ring some parents weekly just to flag up GREAT days/attitudes. Sending work home with a note also works well.

Parents’ Evenings by @StuartLock

Name: Stuart Lock
Twitter name: @StuartLock
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: Headteacher
What is your advice about? Parents’ Evenings

1: Ensure you book in all your pupils’ appointments early. Phone the most likely not to show.

2: Know each parent’s surname to greet them, note it next to the pupil – this starts the meeting professionally. Ensure you know pupils names (see point 1).

3: Take class books to show if you get an argument from a child or parent. Also sit close to head of dept or mentor.

4: No interview should take more than 5 minutes, most 2 or 3. Parents want to know: behaviour, work ethic, progress. If you carry on you’ll repeat yourself.

5: Be honest, brutally if necessary. Parents must hear it as it is, without sugar coating or superfluous words.

Phone Calls to Parents by @perkins254

Name: Michelle Perkins
Twitter name: @perkins254
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: classroom teacher
What is your advice about? Phone calls to parents regarding behaviour

1: Always start your conversation in a positive way – even if it really hurts!
E.g. ‘Xxxx is usually quite cooperative/focused/attentive, however…’

2: Link your concern to progress: a parent will never argue that they don’t want their child to do well.

3: Never compare the child you are talking about to another in the class: ‘if Xxxx behaved more like Xxxx…’ Remember parents talk to each other!

4: If a parent suggests that their child is mimicking another, tell the parent that you are trying to encourage their child to think for themselves!

5: Always end on a positive, with an offer to follow up in 2/3 weeks. This shows commitment to child’s progress and parents will respond positively.

Working With Parents by @headteacher01

Name: Glyn Bishop
Twitter name: @headteacher01
Sector: Primary
Subject taught (if applicable): All subjects
Position: Headteacher
What is your advice about? Working with parents

1: Welcome parents into your classroom. You need to engage with them so easier to get them to come to you.

2: Start a conversation. They will want to have a relationship with you because you are an important part of their life at home.

3: Take every opportunity to share good news. It is so much easier to share bad news if you have previously given some great news.

4: Listen to any parental concerns. It may be difficult to hear but if you can show you listen and act on a concern you will build a reputation of being fair and approachable.

5: Find ways to keep parents informed. Giving parents an idea of what you are learning and questions to ask at home helps reinforce all of your hard work in the classroom.