Why is it so difficult to contact my student’s parents?
Have you reached a point in your career where identifying what’s most important for you to help your specific group of students to achieve individual academic success based on their particular circumstances and skill sets, is what matters most?
K – 12 Education: Stressed Out Series 6.2
Identifying what’s most important or prioritizing what gets your attention is a huge undertaking to address in a blog. I’ll approach the process of determining importance by taking on different aspects of training sessions teachers have struggled with over the years.
One repeated theme of importance for educators is parental involvement. Many schools across the country have engaged parents at the kitchen table during homework, actively participating in PTA, and volunteering on fieldtrips. Not to be unrecognized, in many other schools across America, is a lack of parent presence at sporting events and parent teacher conferences.
They are often working more than one job that takes them away from peak academic hours and still fall short trying to fund school projects. Transportation maybe an overwhelming challenge when having to visit several schools at the same time.
These are genuinely complex circumstances needing simple solutions where possible. That’s one of the reasons I addressed measurable goals (V2.5, p. 32) in my Guide to Having Your Best Year Teaching With Smart K12 Methods. You’re are going to have to take bolder leadership measures to inspire all parents and guardians to make radical changes in how they get involved with what is most important for your student’s success.
Fearing Paternal Hostility
A teacher in one of my training sessions said she found it extremely difficult to connect with her student’s parents. I asked, Ms. Patroness, if she could explain how it felt when she knew she was going to have contact a parent? She said she could imagine the parents getting hostile and paternally protective with their child. This was probably created out of a past experience that anchored to her memory in a negative way. So, I asked if there was ever a time when she had a great experience calling a parent?
Almost immediately Ms. Patroness perked up and began telling me stories of when her class was chosen to be a part of a nationally televised news piece showcasing a humanitarian project her students were involved with one semester. And how there was an exchange of phone calls between her and the kid’s parents for permission slips, coordinating volunteer support groups, and designating drivers. Now all we had to do was connect those feelings [felt at that time] to picking up the phone and calling parents for a parent-teacher conference. (To be continued)
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