Have you just received uncomfortable phone call home? For parents and students both this can be a difficult situation, yet you can learn to deal with it in the best way! Read on!
If you are a student you may go to this post directly!
Teachers wanting to make a POSITIVE INTRODUCTION phone call – you may go directly to THIS POST
Teachers wanting to script a phone call to a parent, go to THIS POST
I feel that often parents of high performing students have the hardest time with these phone calls. When we want our child to succeed, it is difficult handling negative aspects of their schoolwork or behavior.
When receiving a phone call home please consider:
- When a teacher calls home, in most cases they don’t want to harm your child or put you in a defensive position. Even if that is how it may seem at the moment of the conversation. They are simply asking for help regarding something that has happened at school. Simply knowing this can help a parent handle a phone call home better.
- Most teachers call home after a child has misbehaved more than once. Experienced teachers will talk to the child first and then turn to the parent. If your child is telling you that the “event” happened just once or never happened, you may want to weigh in both the information you received from your child and teacher.
- If you get a phone call from your school we are not “going after” your child. Teachers usually spend a good deal of time thinking when and how to approach a parent. Usually a call home is made to warn a parent that something is happening, or that the teacher needs parental support to handle an aspect of the child’s education.
- Please know that teachers too feel uncomfortable when making calls home. They don’t know what the parent reaction will be. Often the unknown creates tension. It will be helpful for both sides to keep this in mind and simply listen first. In the ten years I have taught I have not met a teacher who does not want to have involved and supportive parents. Tension could happen only after there is uncomfortable feelings in the way things are communicated or perceived. Usually one side feels attacked and this is where the problem forms. Most often it has nothing to do with the child. Therefore, it is the communication between parent and teacher that needs to be focused on.
It will help if you…
- The best scenario for a child is when both teacher and parent can work together to help the child best. Think win/win. Try to see both sides of the story.
- Realize that talking about ONE aspect of your child’s behavior is not a reflection on yourself. Rather, it is a chance to see what might be happening when you are not present and working on developing that aspect of your child’s personality.
- It is respect to the teacher that will make them work with more enthusiasm and reach your child better. Even in a problematic situation! Parents often don’t think about all the challenges teachers face in a classroom. A little appreciation can go a long way in helping your teacher help your child better. Even if you think that your teacher has not acted the way you expected, see if you can help that teacher by communicating back with respect and guiding them into helping your child.
- Know that in a conflict between parents and teachers the real looser is the child that gets in between. There are some stations where parents need to speak up. In most cases however, the stations can be resolved by communicating and following the steps in this post.
Be proactive by…
Initiate contact with the teacher at the very beginning of the school year. This could be a simple “hello”, an email introducing yourself, or asking if you could help with their classroom. This way you would be forming a relationship with that teacher away from your child. This way, when a problem arises both sides will feel more comfortable dealing with the situation and asking for help.
So when receiving a phone call…
- Never react in the heat of the moment. It is always best to hear what the other party has to say and then ask for some time to discuss the situation at home at think things over.
- Defuse the situation/don’t start a confrontation.
- The situation always seems more intense in the time of the phone call home. Give yourself some time.
- Give yourself the time to think, calm down, and weigh in the options.