Every day is a test.
A test to see if you can teach as effective as you can.
It is also a test to see how good your communication skills are, along with how your relational skills are.
One very important aspect of this is how you deal with parents of students in your room. So, here's a top 8 list of things you can do to "pass the test" with parents:
1. Don't give a lot of homework.
I've never really been a big believer in a lot of homework.... SOME homework is
good, but make it meaningful, and not just a time filler. The parents will really
2. Do make time for every parent that walks into your room.
They are there for a reason. Find out why, and talk to them. It will make a huge
difference in the long run.
3. Get back to them quickly.
Some people say within 24 hours... my rule is... within 24 SECONDS. Make sure you
send that e-mail, write that note, make that call... almost immediately, and it'll
be more effective, and chances are ... you won't forget, too.
4. Write hand-written notes.
I started this a few years ago, and it shows that you are human. Sometimes
sending an e-mail or typing a letter seems a little too impersonal. Take the time to
write a note. They'll be able to tell that you mean what you're saying.
5. Call them early in the school year to tell them something positive
about their child.
Usually, the school calls about something negative... why not call for something
positive? Especially early on in the year. This one will certainly get their attention that
6. Reserve a spot on the wall for each child to put pictures up of their
What better way than to say... "Each family is so important to the success of our
7. Treat them how you would want to be treated.
This one is classified under the category: "The Golden Rule."
8. For parent - teacher conferences, purposely budget more time than
the actual conference.
The biggest pet-peeve of mine is waiting. Waiting in the check-out line at the
grocery store, waiting in doctor's office, waiting for the next person to finish their
conference. So, why make them wait? Purposely budget 30 minutes for each
conference... and then tell them it only be 20 minutes long. Invariably, some
conferences will go over the time limit ... and most will be under the time anyway.
But why rush it?
Greeting each parent at the door as soon as they come in... what a novel idea?
Trust me, it goes a long way....