How do you find the parents of your students? Are they helping their children to learn, or are they more of a hindrance?
Some parents can be incredibly difficult to cope with, of course. And sometimes an assertive manner and explaining the boundaries between their opinions and your professional work is called for.
But apart from those difficult parents, I strongly believe that parents should be kept informed about what we are teaching, and generally we should involve them as partners in their children’s education.
If you are going through a hard time coping with the parents of your students, please forgive me if my comments are off base or have caused you any offence; that is never my intention.
But if you agree that working with parents is a good thing, do share your tips below on how to achieve this goal.
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5 Replies to “Vlog Ep #10: Involving Parents in Their Children’s Math Education”
Realistic and empathetic! I liked it. Sometimes keeping it simple stupid (KISS) is what’s really required. In addition, to a tongue clamp to maintain our emotional regulation. Most parents are fantastic but sometimes we get those who have difficulty seeing their role as a partner who has to do SOMETHING.
Thanks again, appreciate all your comments, Bob. Emotional regulation is so important on both sides, I agree. I find if I’m confident in my own professionalism and care for my students, when a parent goes off I figure it must be due to their own issues and other things in their life. At the school I teach at there was a parent the other day using the “F” word at teachers and staff about a minor incident involving his son. The reaction was so over the top and unreasonable, the staff didn’t have to take it personally as the guy plainly had much bigger issues going on.
I greatly enjoyed and fully agreed with your comments Peter. I, too, have become the parental chew toy teaching Math to senior secondary level. This came close to ending my career. I just want parents to constructively and proactively assist me to help achieve mutually agreeable outcomes for the students.
Thanks for the comment, Caroline. Sorry to hear that parents have been giving you a hard time. Thankfully we all get positive comments also, which can encourage us to keep going. Hope you have a great break: not long to go till the end of the year now!
I have been privileged to have enjoyed positive partnerships with families. Taking the time to get to know parents and work proactively with them in the learning journey is well worth the time it takes, particularly when you can see situations from the child’s & or the parent’s position. Extend the hand of compassion & patience. Make time to showcase and celebrate learning, inviting parents/extended family in. Offer workshops for parents to suit the working and nonworking parents because they’d like to know ‘what & how their child learns eg math strategies. Give feedback & always remind students that even if they don’t”get it YET”, with incremental steps good teaching,grit and practice goals will be achieved. Develop cheat sheets to support those who need them. Tell stories about when you found maths hard and any tricks or ways you used to cope. Declare the importance of maths & that its ok not to be great at maths just at the moment. Show students ways to manage mathematically in the mean time. Make maths fun and uphold the importance of number facts and mental maths strategies with out apology.