Meeting your child’s class teacher to discuss either an academic or behavioural issue can be a bit nerve-wracking. Tensions are high, and you and your partner may feel under the spot light… So here are 3 simple tips for making the best of it:
1) Start with the positives.
Smile openly and explain how thrilled you are with the class this year. It may be the timetable, the friendships your child is developing or the handwriting progression. It really doesn’t matter, just come up with some genuine likes and enthuse about them. Ideally if there are two of you, you both should come up with some.
Parents have to hear at least 4 positives about their child, before they are likely to accept a negative observation. And teachers are just the same.
2) Be specific. It is not appropriate to be woolly in your criticisms or observations. Avoid ‘she always does this’ or ‘he never gets that’. Instead, it is better to say, ‘I’ve noticed her handwriting doesn’t flow well and she is unable to join some letters correctly,’ or ‘He is taking time to settle to the task and needs a little extra support at the beginning of the lesson.’
Go into the meeting with a clear objective of what you hope to achieve.
3) Request the teacher’s support, as a professional. Suggest any other teachers your child comes into contact with might be emailed and a simple set of targets agreed between staff. Ask for a follow-up meeting in a fortnight or so. Make it clear that you have faith in the teacher to fix the problem.
Whether you are chuffed to bits with your child’s class teacher this year, or totally fed up about it, you need to work together if your child is to have a good year.
Don’t put it off – if you have a concern – book that meeting now!