Angela over at The Cornerstone for Teachers posted an excellent blog entry today about how to give parents bad news at parent meetings. There's a great list of tips and suggestions on how to have productive conferences, or in the case of the school psychologist, perhaps how to facilitate them. How often do we struggle with this, or see others struggling? I know I've sat in on a few parent meetings where it's an all out offensive from the teacher at the parent, which is utterly unproductive. What parent wants to come into school to talk to a teacher that's on high alert and hear how horrible their child is?
I always talk about positives first, whether in parent meetings or at the CSE table. What can the child do? What is positive about their work habits, personality, behavior, etc? What skills to they have? Then, I discuss any deficits, concerns, or problems. Going in guns blazing on what’s “wrong” only serves to put the parent on the defensive. If that's the case, no one's working to help the child.
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