Friday, 5 June 2009

Take 2 minutes to say "thank you" to a parent

After reading Miss Cal.Q.L8s post about home school visits, I began thinking about conversations I've had with parents. Parent's evenings are my favourite part of the year. Even though they take hours I come away energised and enthused. I can only hope that students go away feeling the same.

However, my new school doesn't have parent's evening -- in fact, we have very limited communication with parents. Given that I teach mostly sixth-formers aged 16-19 I can see why it is less relevant, but I do feel we're missing out.

I therefore try, each week, to ring at least one student's parents to give some positive news on their progress. Each term I also photocopy the work of the best student and send it in a package to their parents with a personal letter explaining what I thought was so impressive.

All of this is welcomed, but nothing has been commented on more than the fact I say "thank you" to parents. I thank them for sending their children to us, for being a guiding influence and for caring about their children so much. Doing so makes our job so much easier. Often parents react by saying: "Oh no, I didn't do anything..." or "Well, that's what parents are for". Sometimes they even act confused. But 9/10 times I can hear the pride in their voice or I see their shoulders raise a few inches - just the same way that students do when complimenting their work. Thing is, we all need to be told that our efforts in life are being noticed. Simply because we hit adulthood it doesn't mean we stop needing positive feedback. simple tip would be thank parents as often as you have an excuse. It may brighten everyone's day!