HPMD Quotes & Sources
I've taken two of the moments of truth stories and turned them into case studies. Can you see anything else that needs to be done to them?
The mother of a middle school student who was smart but underachieving, made an appointment for a conference with the teacher. She wanted to talk about what could be done to challege the child to use more of his ability. When the mother showed up, the teacher asked her "What are you doing here? Your student's doing fine." Several other teachers said the same thing.
This greatly disturbed the parent. "If the teacher thinks that my son is doing okay, he must not know him well enough to be much help. Why would he think teacher conferences are for the struggling students only? They say they want parents to be involved because it's a key ingredient in the most effective schools. Yet they discourage any real involvement because it makes them do more work. They'd actually have to think about the individual child and design a plan for him, rather than teach to the average. It's no wonder many parents don't go to conferences if they receive no encouragement or direction on how they can support the educational goals."
1. How could this teacher encourage participation in parent / teacher conferences? What additional steps could he take to gain participation from 100% of the parents? How could he hold the conference if the parents couldn't come to the school?
2. What coaching or guidelines could the school provide the parent for how they could support the educational goals of their child? How could the guidelines be presented to direct attention to it and enable parents to refer to it later? What would be in the guidelines?
3. How could this teacher insure that open houses and conferences at the school are interesting and worthwhile to the parent? How would he know whether the parents consider open houses and conferences a good use of their time? Is there another format that would be better?
4. How could this teacher more effectively convey to the parent his ideas for challenging this child to accomplish more?
A good student saved all her homework and test papers. Her sister, 3 years younger, had the benefit of using them as a study aid. In one class, the sister found that absolutely nothing had changed...the daily assignments, the schedule, the test questions, not even the order of the questions or answers.
When the parent noticed this, she was upset. "It feels like the teacher is being lazy, going through the motions, not keeping the material fresh or updated. You can't tell me that absolutely nothing has changed in the last three years. Wouldn't the teacher be pretty bored with the material too, if she's doing exactly the same thing year after year? Is she putting the same low energy into other aspects of teaching as she is into her lesson plans and tests? Is the whole school that shoddy?"
Play the role of a creative and energetic teacher who also happens to be a good friend of this teacher being criticized. You have been asked to mediate the discussion between the parent, the teacher, and the administration to find a solution to this problem. You don't agree with the criticized teacher's methods either, and want to find a solution that is fair to all concerned.
Assume that all parties are calm, well-intentioned, and willing to listen and contribute ideas. They have their own concerns and jobs to do, but do not need to make a scene to do it.
1. Restate in your own words the legitimate concerns of the parent, the administration, the good teacher, and the criticized teacher.
2. Write the script of the ideal conversation at this meeting that would address and resolve everyone's concerns.
3. What would change as a result of this solution?
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|Title:||The Conference, and Lesson Plans|
|Categories:||Customer Service, Case Studies|