The sole aim of a Parent- Teacher meeting is to ensure coordinated and cooperative holistic growth of the child. Teachers play a pivotal role in this regard and by emulating certain notable factors they can be in the driver’s seat.
Know your students: The foremost work is to get to know your class thoroughly. Remember, the students under your umbrella of guidance are your major responsibility and you are required to be fully dedicated to your purpose. Therefore, study each and every child and note down their characteristics. Maintain your own log book where you can jot down each child’s likes, dislikes, performance, attitude, positive features and drawbacks. Keep updating them on a weekly or monthly basis.
Prepare for the meeting: Once a meeting has been called for, prepare thoroughly for it. Refer to your log book, update it and make notes on issues to be taken up for discussion.
Plan your session: Plan out your course of action in a step by step pattern; an opening conversation, report on academic progress and concerns, report on social progress and concerns, summing up and answering queries. However, be ready to sideline your plan in case an urgent topic is raised by the parent which requires immediate discussion.
Listen attentively: First try to listen to what the parent has to say, this not only puts them at ease, but also allows you to pick your points for discussion. Note down any specific points that may need focus.
Start on a positive note: Every parent likes to hear good things about his/her child. Therefore, start by speaking positively about the child and highlighting his/her strengths. This will pave the way for a smooth conversation.
Address the concerns dogmatically: Prioritise the concerns to be discussed and take up the major ones pragmatically. Ensure polished language and avoid words of discouragement. Negative remarks about the child can either depress parents or make them irate, leading to an unpleasant situation.
Maintain a courteous tone: Ensure that you remain composed throughout and use a polite courteous tone. Never raise your voice as it could lead to controversy and unnecessary wrath. Speak gently without losing your temper.
Be solution oriented: Don’t just state the drawbacks of the child, be ready to provide feasible and workable solutions to overcome challenges. This shows your genuine concern for your students.
Take the opportunity to learn: Every meeting is an opportunity to learn something new. Be open to accepting facts that are new and try to learn from the situation. This will facilitate the process of classroom teaching.
Show that you care: Every child is special and has something positive and praiseworthy.Unravel that hidden quality and display it to the parent to prove your caring attitude. Express gratitude for the parents’ thoughtfulness in making the meeting a success.
Always keep your higher authority or Principal in the loop regarding the points of discussion to avoid landing in any messy situation.
Paramita Mishra holds a PhD in Environmental Biology, and has been associated with teaching Communicative English and Personality Development for nine years now. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org