I would like to share with you an article in “Terrific Teaching Tips” newsletter. The article is focusing on teachers- parents attitudes as there is the initial contact with parents in the first month.
“In order to turn this around so that it is not detrimental to their child, your student, here are a few suggestions for you as their teacher:1. You must continually acknowledge achievement by recognizing students who function at a high academic level. This is proof that we are teaching and your students are learning. If we want parents to know that we are doing our job properly, we must also acknowledge and reward student improvement in their attitude and behaviour.
Most people look at achievers as excellent role models and want to copy them. That's why recognizing their successes acts as a powerful motivator for your students and their parents. That’s why you should never group students with learning difficulties together - no role models to follow.
Remember, also, that excelling in sports or other activities are opportunities to provide great recognition as well.
2. We must always keep parents informed and offer help continually. Be consistent - let them know about their child's achievements and improvements. Remember to change parents' negative attitudes, acknowledge students' progress openly.
3. Inform parents of test results, special assignment and project marks. Don't keep them in the dark. When report cards are sent home, you don't want an irate parent calling you saying "I wasn't aware. Why didn't you let me know my child was having problems (or failing)"?
Call, email, or see parents in person. Telling them what's happening (in a professional and tactful manner) with their child's progress will build positive parent feelings. Believe me!
4. Another way is to acknowledge another teacher's excellence. If another teacher is doing a great job to promote a child's progress, make the parents aware of it. Be professional, honest and sincere about the other teachers.
It's easy to resent or ignore negative parent attitudes. But who's the big loser in the end ... their child, your student! This kind of behaviour is WRONG (on our part). We need to consider what WE (as teachers) can do to improve the situation.”