Problem with Parent

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by lcr, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. lcr

    lcr Companion

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    Jan 26, 2016

    I have been having problems with a parent ever since I pulled her aside after school and told her that her son being late to school (20 minutes) twice a week was interfering with our classroom routine. Ever since then she has taken issue with me and my behavior management plan. (I have a clip chart behavior system with a warning before a 5-minute recess loss). She says that the system is causing her son to dislike school. Honestly I think he is spoiled. He brings toys to school, loses them, and accuses kids in other classes of taking them. Then his mother interrupts other teachers to complain about their students taking his toys.

    He is performing below grade level, which I have communicated to his mother at the last conference, with tips and ideas on how she can help at home. That conference went very well (it was before I spoke to her about tardies).
    Now she has requested a conference a month early to discuss his progress. I don't want this to get negative, but I'm sure she has something in store for me. How do I make this conference productive?
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Jan 26, 2016

    A couple thoughts:
    • If you feel comfortable, you could e-mail (BCC your principal if you want) them to ask if there are any specifics about their progress they'd like to chat about, or just in general.
    • From this, you can prepare specific evidence that can support the progress that you feel the child is making. If this is behavior, make sure before the conference that you have taken a day to jot down notes throughout the day - both positive and negative - or if it's one particular behavior that you want to focus on, keep track of how many times that behavior occurs during the day / a particular time. For academics, that should be a bit more straightforward. Again, have some specific evidence - if you are saying
    • To keep it productive, keep it to the facts as much as possible, and stay away from too many "feelings"/assumptions - "this is the behavior and this is how often it happened". Also, you could probably get them to buy in a bit more if you asked their input about some strategies they have found has worked for their child, and have specific strategies prepared that are neutral, in the sense that the suggestions don't suggest that they're doing something wrong necessarily.
      • As an example, instead of saying "st. was 20 minutes late, which caused problems with our routine", you could phrase it "st. was 20 minutes late, which meant that they missed x, y, and z".
    • Try to stay as positive as possible.
    You might let your principal know about the situation, so they're aware, though I have a feeling including the principal in the actual conference might just send the wrong message. Perhaps they can at least be available to come and join the conference if it ends up "getting out of hand" or anything. If it doesn't go well, make sure to document what specifics you talked about and why it didn't go well...sometimes there's just a clash that won't let up or perhaps a child is "spoiled" / has control, but just keep on pushing forward, document, keep your principal in the loop, and you'll be fine. I had a one clash that unfortunately didn't smooth over (though with 100% principal and other teacher backing) - but at the same exact time, had a parent thank me profusely for being the only one to understand their child and help them express themselves in the classroom.
     
    Linguist92021 and Backroads like this.
  4. lcr

    lcr Companion

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    Jan 26, 2016

    All very good ideas. Thank you!
     
  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jan 27, 2016

    Excellent solution to the initial problem of tardies. There is no reason for you to not stand up for youself and the classroom schedule--no going out of your way to try to catch up a regularly tardy student. Stating what the student is missing makes it the student's problem. Years ago I had a student I didn't bother to mark absent until after lunch, he was that often tardy and that often so late. I just mentioned to his mom all he was missing when she asked about his poor morning grades (and yes, truancy officers eventually got involved).

    As for the toys, make it classroom policy that toys are not to be in the classroom. That will give you an immediate disclaimer when mom complains about the "stolen" toys.
     
  6. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jan 30, 2016

    With the chronic tardy issue I would inform your or whomever is responsible for that in your building.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 30, 2016

    I second all the advice above but I wouldn't include the admin in the meeting. This parent doesn't seem to be a problem, it's not like she's hostile or rude, etc. Including the P might send the message that you're on the defensive and that you think you can't handle her.
     

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