How to get the awesome results from parent teacher meetings?

By Captain Unni Krishnan,

The days of “Acharya  devo bhava” ( teachers are god) probably no more exist , reasons for this may be many.  The dynamics of  student teacher and in turn parent teacher relationship in this era in our country has a new dimension. To make a positive influence on the child’s development, it is essential that interactions between teacher and parent are productive and positive. We all understand that both parents and teachers aim at the student doing well in life but for the parent the child and probably the siblings or a few children in the neighborhood are the only benchmark and many a time the reaction is more emotional. The teacher has a larger spectrum of children in the class, is more clinical in observation and hence is able to assess more dispassionately.

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/180602

In an exchange of notes, if both are mature and the aim is to not blame the child but help overcome the shortcomings, the result will be very positive. Often it happens that the teacher is critical about the child and immediately, the parent becomes defensive, as a result the communication is more of a confrontation and a fault-finding session commences which does not benefit any one.

Parents and teachers in their discussions must consider themselves to be on the same side that will help them look at the child from the same angle. While it is essential to be positive and motivate children but we must also understand that children have to realize the fact that excellence comes from hard work. If parents negotiate top grades and positions then children will become lazy and shun hard work.

Another important aspect where parents tend to shield children is punishments (of course now schools do not award any physical punishment but limit it to restrictions or notes in student diary), Mistakes are a part of growing up, and every one makes mistakes and gets punished as a correction process.  If children are playing they are bound to have arguments, fall, get hurt, these are natural. So also, children fight and make up but it becomes an issue when it comes up for discussion in parent teacher meetings (many a times it is the children who fight regularly who turn out to be the best of friends).

How to conduct a fruitful Parent Teacher meeting? It would be ideal if both the parent and the teacher prepare on a positive note. Approach the meeting with the intent to listen to the other party rather to put across concerns on their list. Teachers must make notes of the concerns expressed by parents. Teachers along with their concerns must suggest possible remedies. Parents and teachers must consider each other to be on equal footing rather than on a talk down approach.

Most importantly Parents must understand the limitation of the school which functions for a community of students and is not a one on one solution and hence cannot cater to individual needs of each child.

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

 About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

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About Unni Krishnan

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a 'Sword of Honor' from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army. Learnhive (http://www.learnhive.net) is an online learning community of students (K through 12), parents, tutors and educational content creators. Our goal is to enrich the curriculum based learning experience of the students and to make learning more fun and effective.

5 comments on “How to get the awesome results from parent teacher meetings?

  1. satnam singh on said:

    The parents of weak students mostly not attend PTM.. Even some fee defaulter not attend the meeting. in other words we can say that required students and their parents never visit the school on PTM.. That why communication gap increased and suffer the students. but some time parents blame only school , administration and teachers.

  2. Sanjay on said:

    Please answer this questions

  3. Pinki Hablani on said:

    Teachers should never address the child by saying “your” rather they should use “our”. Teachers should never talk everything negative about the child , rather should start with more of positive coz parents can’t listen negative about the child from someone else. Teachers should handle parents with politeness and confidence and they should always be aware about the hidden characters that even parents dont know about the child , that Impression , i tell u is surely gonna leave a positive message about teacher and school in parents mind.

  4. preethi on said:

    I completely agree with you, Sir. As a teacher myself, I would want the parent to understand the fact that we(teacher and parents) are a team when it comes to the progress and well-being of the students. Also, the teachers should be prepared with some anecdotal notes, test results, work samples, and so forth to present and discuss in a concrete way about the student’s work/behaviour/progress in school, rather than vague references during PTM.

    The teacher should be positive and focused as well as specific as much as she can if she has ideas for implementing help or while offering solutions to typical student behavioral problems. This may include specific plans about how the teacher and the parent will keep in touch in the ensuing weeks. In short, what can the parent expect the teacher to do to report progress on any new tactics? The teacher also should be wary of overburdening self with constant written reports or phone calls as she has other students too !!!!

  5. Sunitha Ramanathan on said:

    Sir,
    You had a very good point. At times in the PTM’s if the teachers just listen, it solves most of the problem. Most parents want to be heard and feel good they have made their point. Lots of good pointers for us as teachers.
    Sunitha

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