In the last eight years I have worked at, been in contact with, or had teacher friends at several different schools. I have observed and researched many different teaching styles and teacher personalities.
I have seen teachers who are less than social and personable and I have observed teachers who are all out almost obnoxious. There are teachers who are very approachable for students and parents and then there are teachers who I do not even dare to approach!
I suppose the one thing about some teachers that bothers me the most is the sugar coating and telling parents what they want to hear. I know some teachers who simply just cannot tell parents anything bad.
While I definitely do not believe in telling parents that they are raising a little demon, I do believe in giving them a least a little bit of reality. All future teachers of the child will also appreciate your honesty.
There are many tactful ways to let parents know that their child is struggling academically. There are also kind ways of telling parents that their child is far from being a little angel.
While it can be an awkward moment and the truth is sometimes hard to hear for the parents, it can really be beneficial to the child, parents, and school if everyone maintains a level of honesty about what the child’s weaknesses seem to be.
Until everyone is aware of the true problem, a solution plan cannot be sought and carried out. Keeping parents informed throughout the year can help keep them from receiving a big shock when they discover that their child is not moving on to the next grade or when their child stays in trouble during the next grade.
Therefore during your conferences, always find something positive and uplifting to say about each child. However, also be certain to discuss any concerns that you may have.