Wednesday 11 November 2009

How to Deal with Students' Parents

Updated 18 February 2012

Here are 6 tips that will help you out when you're dealing with your students' parents. 

Hold a general meeting: Tell parents about the books that you use, the syllabus that you follow, and show them some of their child's work. If you don't speak the parent's native language make sure you have someone available who does.

Parent-teacher conferences: By meeting together, they can talk about the child's strengths, weaknesses, and goals to be achieved. Just as in the general meeting, make sure that you have the child's work, grades, and tests available for the parent to see.

Communicate regularly: With email communication is easy. If your email system allows it you can tag the emails and be notified when the parents read the email. Whether you're going to communicate once a week or once a month, be consistent. Avoid sending emails on Mondays and Fridays since these are usually the busiest days. Remember to summarise what has been done in class and what will be done in the future.

Be available: If parents have questions they should be able to reach you so give them your work phone number and work email.

Stay calm: Parents can get angry over just about anything: the way you teach, too much homework, too little homework, other children, etc. Remember to stay calm and don't become defensive.

Have a time limit: Some parents will wait for you outside class.  Be firm and tell them that you have another class / have to prepare class / have a meeting and that you would be glad to discuss the issue, but first they must set up a meeting. This way you aren't rushed and can go to the meeting prepared.

Get help: Sometimes things just get out of hand. If this is the case ask your principal or director for help. Here are some more ideas to help you deal with parents.


Monday 2 November 2009

How Boys and Girls Learn Differently and What to Do About It

Updated 18 February 2012

These tips come from a workshop given by Lucrecia Rodriguez in Lima, Peru in 2008. You can find more tips at teaching boys and girls.

Catering to Girls

  • Give extra encouragement when they do spatial activities like computer design.
  • Let girls manipulate objects, build, design, and calculate.
  • Use water and sand tables in science.
  • Use puzzles to help with visual perception.
  • Set up spatial lessons in groups to encourage discussion.
  • Form groups and teams to promote leadership roles and negotiation skills.
  • Play physical games to help develop gross motor skills.
  • Encourage the quieter girls.
  • The work environment should be clean, tidy, and well-lit.
  • Put up pictures and posters.
  • Take photos of girls completing tasks successfully.

Catering to Boys
  • Make lessons experiential and kinesthetic. Allow for movement and noise.
  • Give them breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk around.
  • Give boys chores, such as sharpening pencils, helping the teacher, handing out papers, etc.
  • Allow them to play with clay, crayons, or doodle while listening.
  • Use bead work, blocks, legos and other manipulatives to encourage fine motor skills.
  • Keep verbal instructions short. Use pictures, graphs, and diagrams when explaining.
  • Use male mentors and role models.
  • Allow boys to be a bit disorganised. Arrange tables and chairs further apart so that they have their own space.
  • Increase computer based education.
  • Use intellectual competition, such as math, spelling, or geography contests.
  • Read more non-fiction in class. Boys like facts and information.


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