Friday, December 31, 2010

Communicating With Parents

I am currently reading From Fear To Facebook by Matt Levinson and this struck a cord with me.

"[Coach] Bob Knight said that if the chemistry teacher at IU was making an impact
on a student and if Knight was struggling to reach the same student, he would go
talk to the chemistry teacher to find out what was working. Parents need to do the
same. They need to swap stories of success and failure, so they can find the right
catching point with their child" (p.78)
The last couple of years, I have had some great students with challenging traits. I have had students with ADD, ADHD and even a form of Tourette syndrome. I am so grateful that we have deans who help deal with the situation as well as parents who are willing to help us out. I am still not comfortable talking to parents but I am working on it. I have learned some valuable techniques and I can say that I think those kids are doing exceptionally well when that communication continues.
Recently, I emailed one of my former students parents because their child was taking initiative and coming up with amazing ideas for our book club. The student was creating book displays and leading discussions and I thought it would be great to let them know. I hardly ever email parents but there were some challenges the year I thought this child and it just seemed like a great way to tell them that their child was doing well.
This is a part of the email:
Thank you VERY much for your email. It isn't often someone stops and takes the time to let parents know that the little boy they were raising, is still somewhere in the adolescent cloak [their child] has adopted as [their] current attire.
I forwarded the email to my fellow librarians and we all teared up a little. I forget that what we see and experience at school can be completely different from what the parents experience at home. It is also different from one teacher to the next. This is definitely something to keep close during the coming year. Also, I have to remember to not be so frightened by parents. :)

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