Working With Parents

As school employees, we are our own best – and worst – PR people. It all depends on how we deal with parents and our communities. Here are some ways of assuring positive relationships.

Accentuate The Positive Always start with a positive statement about the school activity or the abilities, work or interests of the child you are talking about. Encourage parents to visit the school to see the positive things a particular child or the school is doing.

Phone Calls Some parents get most of their information about school through those school employees who only have voice contact with them. Your enthusiasm or frustration carries across phone lines. Smiling before you pick up the pone and smiling as you talk makes a big difference.

Get The Name Right Don’t assume that Jonathan Bubb’s mother is Mrs. Bubb. Try not to talk to the Lees about their daughter “Susan” when her name is “Suzanne.” Little things mean a lot.

Stress Collaboration and Solutions Let the parents know that all school employees want to work together in the best interest of the student. Focus on solutions, rather than on problems – on what can be done to help improve the situation. Show interest in parents’ opinions and eagerness to answer their questions.