Be brave enough to start a conversation
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Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.
Conversation starters to help address negative student behavior:
- “Recently, I’ve noticed that_____is _____. This is a concern because…”
- “I care about _____and I want him/her to be successful in our classroom.”
- “What could we do to help_______be successful in class?”
- “Have you noticed this behavior before? What has worked for you?”
- “_____ is so great at ____. His/her strengths are _____. Lately, though, I am seeing a pattern…”
- “Unfortunately, because of his/her behavior, he/she will need to_____. I know this will help him/her make more positive choices in our room.”
Things to consider when contacting parents:
- Begin with the end in mind. Know what you hope to accomplish from the contact.
- Introduce yourself and how/when you work with their child.
- State something positive about the student.
- Check your tone (voice & written): is it positive?
- State your concern. Support your statement with facts not feelings. “This is what ______has been doing in class. It is not okay for this behavior to occur.”
- Be brief & specific with your concern. Give the parent information not opinions.
- Ask the parent for his/her thoughts about the concern. “What are your thoughts on this situation?”
- Ask questions to clarify any misunderstandings. “So what I think I’m hearing you say is….? Is this correct?”
- Acknowledge that you have heard the parent. “Yes, I hear what you are saying. I understand….”
- Be proactive-create a plan for success TOGETHER. (If parent is resistant, begin to move forward with positive ideas of how you plan to help the student.)
- Do your best to remain neutral with your emotions. Keep your focus on the goal: to help the student be successful and thrive in your classroom.
- PROBLEM SOLVE: If the conversation is turning sour, do your best to bring it back to a problem solving mindset. “This is what I plan on trying with_____.”
- Thank the parent for their time and support. “Thank you for your support with this matter….”
- Call or email the parent when you notice behavior IMPROVEMENT. Making an extra effort to deliver positive news will help the relationship in the long run!