Ah…………conflict. Everyone has them and it is often awkward and uncomfortable to be forced into a conflict with the parent of one of your students. When a teacher is faced with this, it tends to be a reaction to defend yourself. In Mark Phillip’s article on Edutopia, “Parents and Teachers: Turning Conflicts into Partnerships,” he discusses a simulation activity he had teacher interns complete that required them to converse with Filipino parents that were concerned that their children weren’t receiving enough individualized attention. Teacher interns took two approaches to dealing with these concerned parents: many attempted to explain their teaching rationale while others focused on listening to the parents’ concerns. While it is almost an innate response to defend your teaching style, most parents just want to feel that they are being heard and understood.
Teachers and parents need to be partners in promoting their child’s learning. There always needs to be constant communication so both parties know what is going on. If something happens at school that affects a child, the parents need to be notified and vice versa. Phillips also provides other resources to check out that help with communication between teachers and parents.