February means report cards are sent home. Ideally, you’ve already had a few kind words with your child’s teacher prior to that dreaded call home or the disappointing report card. If so, then you have had the pleasure of meeting without the stress and emotion of a ‘problem to solve’. Whether you have established a relationship with the teacher or not, here are five things to keep in mind to make the most of any meeting with your child’s teacher.
- There are no sides. Most teachers teach because they love the profession and they love kids. They are not out to attack parents. The teacher is most likely on your side and wants to find a solution to the problem—just like you. Ask for the teacher’s expertise and suggestions for strategies that have worked with other students in the past.
- Come prepared. Write down your questions and concerns prior to the meeting. Just by walking into a classroom, one can suddenly feel like a 5-year-old who has been called to the principal’s office. Emotions may run high so having a list of questions can keep everyone on track.
- Begin with a feeling. Lead the conversation with a feeling rather than an accusation. If you are not sure how to start the conversation begin with one of the following:
- We are feeling really confused…
- We’re hoping you can help us to understand…
- This is uncomfortable but we really don’t like what is being said about our child…
- Write it down. Write down the agreed-upon solution along with dates/tasks. Be sure that you know who is doing what and when you will be in touch. Decide who will email/call whom and stick to the assignment. This way, you’ll be supporting your child by holding everyone (including the child) accountable.
- Follow the correct protocol. Feeling frustrated by your child’s teacher? Meet with the teacher first before going to administration. Give the teacher an opportunity to hear about and solve the problem. If it still isn’t working, then approach the next level in the hierarchy.
Image of teacher with kids from Shutterstock.
Julie Freedman Smith and Gail Bell provide tools for real life parenting through their company, Parenting Power™. Using over 40 years of combined experience, they work with parents across the country through telephone coaching and teleconferences to ease the stress and guilt of parents while providing practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges. Visit www.parentingpower.ca
to ask your own parenting questions, and learn how to receive 20% off all services as a Parenting Power Member!
Have you been watching the Sochi Olympic Winter Games with your kids? The Olympics provide a great opportunity for you to connect with your kids on topics like doing something you love and following your passion, rewards versus self-satisfaction, goal planning and role models.
Here are some potential conversation starters:
- How do you think people find something to be passionate about?
- What do you love to do?
- What’s more important to you, being recognized for doing well or the feeling you get when you do your best?
- What do you wish you could do and how do you think you can make that happen?
- Do you look up to the athletes? Why?
- When you grow up do you want to be a role model for kids? What does that mean to you?
- What are some ways you ‘are winter’?
For some real-life Olympic fun, try setting up your own mini Games in your backyard or the local park, or throwing an Olympic-themed viewing party for family and friends.
We’d love you to share your experiences with us. Are your children inspired, impressed or indifferent? What are their favourite events? Do the Games spur them on to try harder or try something new? Did they have any reactions that surprised you?
Active for Life is a leading promoter of children’s physical literacy to help parents raise active and healthy kids. In response to increased rates of child obesity and sedentary behaviour, Active for Life was formed in 2011 to give parents the tools to help their children develop skills and habits for lifelong physical activity. At the core of the initiative is the idea that every child deserves to be physically literate. Active for Life is a social enterprise of B2ten, a Canadian organization formed to promote sport and athlete development in Canada. For more information, visit Active for Life