1. Be ready
Write down any areas you specifically want to talk about beforehand, and bring this list to the conversation.
2. Encourage active participation
Parent-teacher communication provides an opportunity for partnership. Sometimes parents may assume more of a listening role when communicating with their child’s teacher. Providing an outline of what the parent-teacher conversation involves and explicitly outlining it as an opportunity for collaboration may help. Encourage active participation and problem solving through asking parents to share their perspective, concerns and experiences. Remember, a parent knows their child best!
3. Start with the positive
Discuss the student's strengths first. Share with the parent any strengths you feel are relevant, and ask the parent what strengths they have identified. Access AllPlay Learn’s strengths and abilities communication checklist
for a list of some possible strengths. You may complete this together with families.
4. Discuss areas where support may be needed
This is an opportunity for you and the parent to share areas where the student could benefit from support and set goals accordingly. The parent may have identified opportunities for support that you were not aware of, and vice versa. It may be important to work together to explore what the priorities may be, and to share strategies that may be effective. Strategies that draw on the student’s strengths may be most effective - access AllPlay Learn’s inclusive questions
for a guide to drawing on student strengths.
5. Discuss ways in which you can create consistency across home and school
You may wish to discuss ways in which a parent can support their child's education at home, such as setting up a homework routine, or through ongoing communication. Similarly, a parent may have routines or strategies that their child uses at home that you can support them with at school. Partnering with each other can create consistency and stability for a student.