Making your Form a great place by @mrsduffyenglish

Name: Sam Duffy
Twitter name: @mrsduffyenglish
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Making your Form a great place

  1. Try and find at least one thing about each pupil that is non school related. Pupils want to feel like you care and want to know them as individuals.
  2. A positive note on a post it once a term, individual to that pupil goes a long way in making pupils feel valued.
  3. Notice the small details. A compliment on a new hair cut can really make a pupil’s day.
  4. If you feel comfortable with it, share what you find interesting. This is a great opportunity to expose pupils to a world outside the curriculum, if you are passionate this spreads.
  5. Build a team spirit, encourage pupils to support each other, get involved and most importantly smile every Form time (even if it is the last Monday of the half term).

Parents’ Evenings by @fizzixteach

Name: Steve
Twitter name: @fizzixteach
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Physics
Position: Head of Physics
What is your advice about? Parents’ Evenings

  1. Plan ahead: give yourself as easy a day as possible on the day and the day after. Arrange a test, or computer lesson, or whatever is reasonable but lightens your load.
  2. If at all possible, get off site between the end of the school day and the start of the evening. Even for 5 minutes.
  3. Have a folder of data, targets, test scores etc with you to refer to. Even better if they’re coloured in!
  4. Showing off the child’s work to the parent – for good or bad reasons – seems to have a very strong effect. Maybe have the class’s books on hand?
  5. When you can’t remember a child’s name, greet the parent(s) with “Hi, it’s Mr and Mrs…. oh, I’m really, sorry, I’ve not learned all the surnames yet”. When they tell you, your class list will fill in the first name for you.

Ringing Parents by @statepapers71

Name: Steve Garnett
Twitter name: @statepapers71
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): History
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Ringing Parents

  1. As soon as possible, ring the parents of identified students to say good things.
  2. And, when those students mess up, you already have a relationship so ring parents to say bad things.
  3. Let the parent talk. Never interrupt even if you do not agree.
  4. Be professional. When the moment is right, back yourself and say what you need to say.
  5. If you need to, after a difficult conversation, refer to leadership. But, never be afraid of the conflict that may arise from you being professional.

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.