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Parents On Your Side

Summary of Lee Canter's 2nd Edition: A Teacher's Guide to Creating Positive Relationships With Parents
by

Ashley Jaye

on 22 April 2014

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Transcript of Parents On Your Side

As we sail
through the
school year...

We're bound to encounter troubled waters when it comes to parents.
However, Lee Canter's 2nd Edition of:
Parents On Your Side...
Will lead us to
successfully
communicating
with parents

As we travel down this path
there are a few things to remember...

1. "Getting parent support is not always easy." (p.1)
2. "Through effective communication with parents,
teachers can have the greatest impact on their day-to-day success with students." (p. 1)
3. "With parents on their side, teachers can more effectively manage most academic and behavioral issues that arise." (p.1)
On this communication journey, Canter begins in Chapter 3 with
Recognizing Parent Roadblocks
Recognizing overwhelmed parents can help
lead to identifying
at-risk families
which can
then be discussed with the guidance counselor.
2
3
4
1
Roadblock 1:
Parents are overwhelmed
Roadblock 2:
Parents want to help but don't know how
Offer suggestions, give parent resource
sheets (later discussed in Ch. 7)
Roadblock 3:
Parents have negative feelings about school
Identify the potential a student has however
state that you and the parent must work
together as a team in order for that student to
reach his or her potential.
Roadblock 4:
Parents have a negative view of teacher competence
You went through the schooling and may have
years of practice under your belt. Accept the parent's viewpoint but stay confident and reinforce your beliefs and actions as a professional.
Hopefully now we have broken down some barriers
Which lead us to Ch.7
Involving Parents in the Homework Process

"Too often, homework remains a mystery to parents. They don't understand why homework is given, how it is expected to be done, or what they can do to help. In short, parents' responsibilities in the homework process are usually never really addressed." (p. 79)
Like a roadsign...
Give parents homework tips
to help.
1. Set up a study area
2. Create a homework survival kit
3. Schedule daily homework time
4. Encourage children to work independently
5. Motivate children with praise
Keep
the lines of communication open
Institute a parent-teacher
homework memo procedure
Send home positive homework
notes to parents
Utilize homework planners
Ask parents to sign planners
or completed homework
How else can we
involve parents?
Family
Learning
Activities
Now that our communication is soaring...
Ch. 11:
Contacting Parents at the First Sign
of a Problem
Your own child test
The best way to contact a parent is by the phone. "It's personal, it's immediate, and it gives you the opportunity to clearly explain the situation and answer right away any questions the parent may have." p. 132
The best way to contact a parent is by the phone. "It's personal, it's immediate, and it gives you the opportunity to clearly explain the situation and answer right away any questions the parent may have." p. 132
How to conduct a phone call
1. Begin with a statement of concern
2. Describe the specific behavior that
necessitated the call
3. Describe the steps you have taken
to solve the problem
4. Get parental input
5. Present your solutions to
the problem
6. Express confidence in your ability to
solve the problem
7. Inform parents that you will follow
up with them
If you cannot reach a parent by phone:
1. Send a letter home
2. Call the parent at work
3. Send a registered letter home
Follow up:
-if the behavior has improved
-if the behavior has not improved
And before letting anything slip away...
File everything!
This brings us to Ch. 15:
Dealing With Difficult Situations

Parents will come at you with as many excuses or criticisms as there are stars in the sky.
But yet, "You must show respect and practice sensitivity at all times, even if a parent does not." p. 180
Avoid reaction statements
Try to disarm with statements such as:
"You have a right to be upset."
"I understand your frustration."
"I'm doing the best I can."
"I have 25 other students
to worry about."
If criticisms are way out of this world, or only partially correct,
Follow these steps:
1. Listen to the parent's complaints without
defending or justifying yourself.
2. Show your empathy and concern by asking the parent for more specific information about the complaint.
3. Now refocus the conversation. Restate the problem behavior, and clarify why it is not in the student's best interests to act this way.
4. If a parent is still critical or angry, point out that conflict between the two of you is harmful to the student.
5. Finally, if the parent is still upset, suggest that he talk with the principal.
Getting noncooperative parents on board
1. Emphasize that you cannot solve the child's problem on your own.
2. Point out that the parent is the most influential person in a child's life.
3. Present the negative outcome you feel will occur if the parent does not support you.
3 More Specialized Techniques
And then it should be smooth sailing...
1. Have the parent monitor student behavior at school
2. Detain students after school, and have
parents sign them out.
3. Have parents escort truant students
to school and sign them in.
And if nothing works we can always do this...
Full transcript