No one wants to hear bad news at a Parents Evening, but knowing where to turn to for help can change the situation for the better.
It is bound to be extremely upsetting to hear anything negative about your child, especially if this is the first time you are hearing of a particular issue. While you may feel defensive and ready to protect your child’s interest at all costs, there are a few things you could do:
Do not take the comments personally. You should never feel like you are being ‘told off’. Ultimately teaching children happens inside and outside of the classroom, and you and your child’s teacher should be in partnership together to resolve any issues.
Ask questions. It may be useful to know if the issue has arisen suddenly, or whether it has been bubbling under the surface for quite a while. This will allow you to gauge how best to handle the situation, and what type of approach will work best for your child.
Have positive conversations with your child. It is vital that all the good points raised at the session are passed along to your child. This will help to foster positive relationships between your child and their teacher. You may want to discuss the issue with your child at home, and include them in the process of how to tackle it. For example, reward charts for behaviour issues work particularly well if the child is invested in the end result too.
Be pro-active. Once an issue has been raised by your child’s teacher, discuss a plan of action which is workable for all parties. For example, a parent-teacher book where you can exchange observations confidentially often works well. You may also consider at this point additional support for your child outside of the classroom, for example a Tuition Service.
It is also useful to note that sometimes you may have to go above the classroom teacher, and that is perfectly acceptable. Although the Headteacher will be very protective of their member of staff, they should also have the well being of each child at the forefront of their mind, so they should take your concerns seriously and be willing work with you to find a solution.
In my professional capacity working with lots of parents in a similar situation, these 4 hints have played an invaluable part in supporting all children at home and at school.
Best of Luck
Hazel – Kumon Hale Barns Study Centre Instructor
At Kumon, our aim is for each and every child to become an independent, advanced learner, with a positive attitude to study.
By studying the maths and English programmes, our students develop independent learning skills and increased self-confidence as they work out how to overcome challenges by themselves.
Kumon’s unique maths and English study programmes support children by building (and developing) a solid foundation in their literacy and/or numeracy skills.