Calling Parents

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by LATechTeacher, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. LATechTeacher

    LATechTeacher Companion

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    Nov 7, 2007

    How do you start your conversations with parents when you are calling about student's behavior problems? I know that I need to start positive, but what do I say. I hate talking on the phone anyways, so this is really hard for me.
     
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  3. colormegreen

    colormegreen Rookie

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    Nov 7, 2007

    I too don't like talking on the phone and to call about behavior problems just makes me avoid it as much as possible...anyone out there that can help???:)
     
  4. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Nov 7, 2007

    I still hate making those calls, too, but I tend to cut to the chase really quickly... something along the lines of, "I wanted to speak to you because I'm concerned about an incident that happened today in class"... "I'm worried about the student's learning/academic progress given some of the behaviors that have been happening during work time", or "I'm very impressed by her improvement in returning homework and participating, but I've been noticing lately that he/she has been (whatever) during carpet time. I don't want this to affect his/her learning or the learning of other students in the class."

    Basically, don't rant or complain... typically if you make it evident that you're trying to resolve issues for the student's benefit, it's hard for most parents to not be supportive. Throw in comments about his/her learning and areas of improvement to show that there are good things happening (or that the potential is there) but the "bad" things/behavior is limiting the child's success.
     
  5. MsMaggs

    MsMaggs Comrade

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    Nov 8, 2007

    Do you have the parents e-mail? It's much easier for me to e-mail than to talk on the phone, especially if it's about something somewhat negative. But, the same rule of thumb applies here too, start and end with something positive about the student.
     
  6. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Nov 9, 2007

    Lately I hhave been opening these sorts of conversations with "I have a bit of a problem/I have a situation here, but I don't want this to become a problem for you." Then I go on to describe what I have seen or noticed. I have gotten very positive responses from parents when I have opened conversations this way. I'm not really sure why it works, but I guess they don't think I'm just trying to pass the buck or something. Personally, I like e-mail better, but it isn't always an option.
     
  7. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Nov 9, 2007

    I start off with "Hi, Ms. Smith this is Ms. XXXXX Sam's music teacher at XXXX school how are you?" "I'm calling because I have Sam here with me and we wanted to talk to you about what has been going on in music class or our behavior in music class." "I know he can do the right thing but often I have to redirect him." etc...
    I try to say something positive about his skills or behavior in previous classes. I often say that he/ she is a sweet kid or has a good sense of humor (which is true for most of my students). You can also use "I know you want what is best for Sam and I really want him to excell in class. So we need to work on ..." I just make sure I have a pleasant tone & try and keep it light. I've called home due to excessive talking, disruptive behavior, & attitude issues. I've had very good responses. Several of the parents I've called stopped in to see me at conferences this week. ;)
     
  8. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Nov 9, 2007

    I agree, start with something positive. I usually say, "I just wanted to talk to you for a few minutes about Sarah/Joey/David." Then I go into the positives and the negatives.
     
  9. DOBY

    DOBY Rookie

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    Nov 10, 2007

    I let parents know from the begining of the school year that i will make the students call them if they misbehave, and if they parents are not home i make the child leave a message for their parents saying what they did wrong in class. Kind of reporting themselves.
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Nov 10, 2007

    It can be hard to get over a fear of calling people, but it is so worth it. You build a positive relationship with parents, and you give them the chance to deal with the situation immediately. (Notes don't always get shown to a parent right away.)

    One thing I'd like to add, is that if students are in trouble a lot, and I have to call home a lot, I make a point of watching that student for good behavior, and if I catch them doing the right thing -- I call home. You wouldn't believe the shock.. when you say "Hello, Ms. Smith, this is Ms. X. I was just calling to tell you that little Johnny had a wonderful day today. I'm so proud of him."

    Many parents have told me they've never had a good call before. It makes their day.
     
  11. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Nov 10, 2007

    I usually start the conversation by telling the parent I know how concerned you are about your child's education so I called to tell you about a problem we are having in class.. I also ask if they know of any reason this might be happening and any suggestions they might make to help the situation.I try and emphasize why it is imperative that this behavior be addressed immediately.
    Of course,with a few parents I wish I could hire a Hitman to make a follow up call to describe what will happen if the child's behavior or work habits does not improve.
    Good Luck!
     
  12. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Nov 10, 2007


    Good point! I had an especially tough 4th grader who was quite disrespectful during class several times. I redirected, conferenced with him after class, and then finally we called mom. The next class he did much better so I invited him to stop by my room so we could call mom & tell her. He showed up right at the start of recess & mom was very pleased. They even stopped in to see me at conferences & it was very nice!
     

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