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Positive Parent-Teacher Interviews

It’s that time of year again where parent-teacher interviews roll around. It’s time to meet with the parents of your students to let them know about their progress and their achievements from the first semester. But the whole process can be a bit daunting, particularly if you haven’t found a way to handle interviews that works for you. So, we’ve developed six tips for positive parent-teacher interviews.

Be organised

Being organised is key to using your time meeting with the parents effectively. But don’t stress, this can be an easy task! Organise some work samples, report comments and marks for each student ahead of the interview day. You could place these in individual folders for each student and place them in a pile in the order in which you are meeting with the parents. This will give you something to show the parents and it will demonstrate to them that you are truly interested in having a thorough discussion with them about their child. If there is anything specific you would like to raise with the parents, have these comments noted in the student’s folder as a prompt. This will help you to avoid that situation where you forget to bring it up in the meeting but remember about it a couple of hours later. So frustrating!

Create a friendly atmosphere

Whether you are meeting with the parents in person or online, creating a space where both yourself and the parents feel comfortable will help to make for positive parent-teacher interviews. You can achieve this with a simple greeting that is friendly and enthusiastic and by displaying positive body language throughout the interview. By creating a friendly atmosphere, you may put your students’ parents at ease ahead of the meeting.

Be as positive as possible

It can be difficult to be positive 100% of the time in parent-teacher interviews, but you can be as positive as possible. If any negatives or areas for improvement do need to be brought up with the parents, let them know about the strategies that are in place to help their child develop. Once you have addressed your concerns, make sure you follow it up with a positive comment to ensure the parents know this interview is not all bad news.

Avoid teacher jargon

There are plenty of words and acronyms that us teachers use in the classroom and the staff room, but not all parents will understand what we are talking about. For this reason, it is important to make sure you talk to your student’s parents in a language they will understand. Using jargon and other terms they may not understand may leave the parents more unclear about their child’s progress than before they walked into the interview.

Address any parent concerns

Allow your student’s parents an opportunity to raise any issues they may like to discuss with you. This shows the parents that you’re interested in how they view their child’s education and that you’re willing to address any concerns they may have. Sometimes, though, parents can come into interviews ready to argue with you. The best way to handle this is to give the parents the facts about their child and their learning. If they are unable to be reasoned with, be sure to follow up with the parent at a later date when they are calmer.

Treat yourself!

Once the parent-teacher interviews are over, treat yourself! You deserve it after the preparation you’ve put into getting ready for the interview process. You may like to unwind with a nice spa treatment or get yourself a delicious meal for dinner on the way home.

Use these six tips for successful, stress-free and positive parent-teacher interviews this year.

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