Parent-Teacher Relationship: How To Deal With Parents As A Tutor
As a tutor, creating an active parent-teacher relationship, between you and the parents of your students is essential to carry out your job efficiently. Indeed, this is important not just to keep parents up to speed about their kids’ performance in class, but also to ensure parents can address certain qualities expressed by their kids that could be harmful to them physically, mentally and psychologically.
Although a relationship between a teacher and a parent are for the benefit of the kids involved, the task of dealing with different types of parents can be challenging. Sometimes it can even be frightening especially for new teachers.
It is fundamental to recognise that there are different types of parents if you are going to combat this fear. Therefore it is advisable to adopt a different manner of approach when dealing with each parent.
Here are the different ways to deal with the different types of parents. Of course, these are the types of parents you would likely come across as a tutor.
These set of parents are incredibly involved in their kid’s academics, they are always ready to communicate with teachers during PTA meetings and could volunteer to help out. Even though these characteristics sound a bit clingy and annoying, involved parents are one of the easiest to deal with as a tutor.
All they want is to become a teammate and receive constant feedback on their kid’s performance. You have to be straightforward and always communicate, let them know when to take action about a particular concern about their kid, and they are good.
A lot of parents tend to gravitate towards the emotional side when dealing with their kid’s tutors. Thus, making them a request for extra attention and care that might not be necessary. Most times they feel you’re not doing enough and might want to influence or change the way you do your job.
This experience can be quite frustrating for anyone, as it tends to make you feel incompetent and unreliable. When dealing with this type of parent, it is essential to believe and stick to your process, carry on with your techniques void of any emotion. Always put the need of the child first before that of the parent, and eventually, you will find common ground.
Even though it is typical of parents to be genuinely interested in their kid’s performance in school, some parents are or seem disinterested. Unresponsive parents make no conscious effort in communicating with teachers; they do not play an active role in helping their kids with problems in homework or being punctual in school. How then do you deal with a parent like this?
First of all, find out what the problem is;
In a case like this, for obvious reasons never use the student as the interpreter. School districts often make available several interpreters that could help resolve this issue. The parent-teacher relationship will need a good middleman to smoothen things out in case of tensions. This could be another teacher a counsellor, headteacher or anyone in a position of authority.
For parents with a lot of workload and commitments, make sure to point out the fact that you empathise with them. Always be patient while explaining the reasons why their active involvement in their kid’s school performance is necessary.
No matter the reason for their unresponsiveness, always be in consistent communication with the parents, explain in details what the problem might be, and be polite.
As a teacher, you have the power to change a student’s life through different ways. Every interaction with a student’s parent can help you understand them better and ultimately help improve their performance in school. So always try to find a common ground in the parent-teacher relationship.
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