Why should I do it:
- Provides constant, updated, and relevant information for managing behaviors in school and at home
- Helps provide valuable data and information on updating behavior plans, functional behavior assessments, and other behavior modifications and interventions
- Keeps home and school on the same page
- Prevents students from telling their parents one thing and the school another, pitting the two against one another
- Forces disengaged and inactive parents into the behavior planning and intervention process and helps make parents more responsible for addressing the student’s behavior(s), including following through with consequences and rewards
- When students are age appropriate and involved in meetings, they tend to take interventions more seriously, feel included, and are held directly responsible from the parties involved
- When students are age appropriate and involved in meetings, they cannot spin stories, lie, or pit school and home against one another as easily
- Provides immediate or real-time feedback and plan development or alteration
- Everyone involved tends to feel more responsible for implementing interventions when it is discussed in person with school and home parties at the table
- Avoids confusion, misunderstandings, conflicts, etc
When should I do it:
- When a student is at Tier III, regular and consistent behavior meetings are absolutely essential and necessary
- Behavior meetings should be considered strongly for Tier II students as well
How do I do it:
- Develop a formal or informal agenda for the meeting
- Politely state the expectations for conduct during the meeting, like no swearing at one another, yelling, rudeness, etc, and explain that if someone becomes too disruptive, they may step out for a moment to gather themselves, but if the issue continues, the meeting will be adjourned and rescheduled
- Try to remain on topic, addressing all the major and most important points
- Set time limits for the meeting, adjourning if it runs too long and setting a day and time to continue the meeting
- Have tissues available, water, etc
- Have all relevant parties present, like teacher, social worker, counselor, administrator, parent, guardian, etc
- Keep notes of the meeting, emailing or sending them out to all participants
- Have a sign in sheet to note who is in attendance
- Have all relevant documents ready with a copy for each person at the meeting, like behavior plans, student contracts, functional behavior assessments, data tracking forms, etc
- If someone becomes overly emotional, adjourn the meeting and set a day and time to resume
- Always use a calm and neutral tone with parents to avoid instigating conflicts, reminding all school staff to do the same
- Always highlight something positive about the student
Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)
- How to Deal with Ramblers, Bores, Show-Offs and Other People Who Sabotage Your Meetings 1
- Are You Dealing With A Meeting Bully? 2
- Conducting Effective Parent/Teacher Conferences 3
- Education World: Meeting With the Parents — Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences 4
- Dealing With Angry Parents 5
- Dealing With Difficult Parents 6
- Delivering difficult news to parents: guidelines for school counselors 7
- Surviving the Difficult Parent-Teacher Conference 8
- Dealing with Difficult Parents 9
- Child Behavior: What Parents Can Do to Change Their Child’s Behavior 10
- What teachers really want to tell parents 11
- Tips for Talking to Parents 12
- Parent Conference Considerations 13
- 27 Tips for Parent Conferences 14
- Parent-Teacher Conference Tip Sheets for Principals, Teachers, and Parents.pdf 15
- Hawkins, C. How to Deal with Ramblers, Bores, Show-Offs and Other People Who Sabotage Your Meetings. [http://www.charliehawkins.com/articles/ControlDisruptiveMeetingBehavior.html].
- SMART Technologies. Are You Dealing With a Meeting Bully?. [http://www.effectivemeetings.com/teams/difficult/bully.asp].
- Sue. Parent Teacher Interviews/Conferences: Tips for Effective Conferences. [http://specialed.about.com/cs/teacherstrategies/a/conference.htm].
- Starr, L. (2002). Meeting With the Parents — Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences. [http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr291.shtml].
- EDUCATION WORLD, INC. Dealing With Angry Parents. [http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin474.shtml].
- Hopkins, G. (2009). Dealing With Difficult Parents. [http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/chat/chat111.shtml].
- Professional School Counseling. Delivering difficult news to parents: guidelines for school counselors. [http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-6121371/Delivering-difficult-news-to-parents.html].
- Fry, L. Surviving the Difficult Parent-Teacher Conference. [http://www.readingrockets.org/article/85/].
- Illinois New Teacher Collaborative, Children’s Research Center. Dealing with Difficult Parents. [http://intc.education.illinois.edu/forum/dealing-difficult-parents].
- familydoctor.org editorial staff. (2010). Child Behavior: What Parents Can Do to Change Their Child’s Behavior. [http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/kids/behavior-emotions/child-behavior-what-parents-can-do-to-change-their-childs-behavior.html].
- Clark, R., Special to CNN. (2011). What teachers really want to tell parents. [http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-parents/index.html].
- Bennett, T. (2011). Behaviour – Top Tips from Tom. [http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6085543].
- Pearson Education, Inc., Excerpted from Classroom Teacher’s Survival Guide. Parent Conference Considerations. [http://www.teachervision.fen.com/teacher-parent-conferences/teaching-methods/3854.html].
- TSTA/NEA. 27 Tips for Parent Conferences. [http://www.inspiringteachers.com/classroom_resources/tips/parent_communication/parent_conferences.html].
- Harvard Family Research Project. Parent-Teacher Conference Tip Sheets for Principals, Teachers, and Parents. [http://www.hfrp.org/content/download/3295/96777/file/FI-ConferenceTipSheets.pdf].