Talking teacher garbage about students

What should I look out for when talking to the teacher?

Children have a dull feeling in their stomachs when they take a vocabulary test or do a math test. Parents sometimes have this uncomfortable feeling when they are on their way to a teacher interview. While everything was still going well in primary school and the parenting day was a nice chat, unfortunately parents sometimes have to have rather unpleasant conversations with their offspring's teachers during their child's puberty. With many parents, a special mixture of desperation, anger, respect, contempt, their own school experiences and prejudices flows into the conversation. Such conversations are often very difficult for teachers, on the one hand because these unfiltered feelings of the parents often collide with them with full force. On the other hand, because the messages behind the feelings are usually not easy to decipher. Here are 14 helpful conversation tips to ensure that your conversations with teachers go to mutual satisfaction and, above all, for the benefit of your child.

In general, most teachers are grateful when parents show an interest in their child's development at school. Some parents are sure to exaggerate and seek contact with the teacher even with the smallest problems. Other parents, on the other hand, do not even appear on parenting day when it is really necessary. For which difficulties is an appointment with the teacher appropriate?

  • If there is a negative change in school performance: Whether in just one or in several subjects - your child's grades show an unmistakable “negative trend”, you should talk to the relevant teacher and discuss suitable measures.
  • In the case of noticeable changes in behavior: If your child has been behaving differently at home for some time, for example if he is aggressive or withdraws frequently, if your child appears sad, persistently unfocused or anxious, then research the cause together with the teacher.

The causes for a continuous drop in performance or for sudden changes in behavior can be very different. Sometimes your child may only sit too long next to the "wrong" classmate or just have heartache, but sometimes very serious reasons such as exam anxiety, bullying and threats from classmates, drug problems, computer addiction etc. can also be responsible for difficulties.

If you see changes in the stated sense, it is important that you react as soon as possible. First seek a conversation with your child, but then also with the teachers. The following tips can help you with this:

Tip 1: make an appointment that suits you!
Sounds obvious, but unfortunately it isn't always. Do not ambush the teacher in the school yard, but make an appointment and explain in advance what it is about.

Tip 2: bring enough time!
It would be a shame if your child's teacher takes the time, but you have to end the conversation on time because the next appointment is pressing. So bring enough time with you, because it is not always precisely foreseeable or plannable how long such conversations will last. On the other hand, you shouldn't exceed a certain time frame. At the beginning of the conversation, clarify how much time is available and then stick to the matter if possible, otherwise the conversation can quickly become unproductive.

Tip 3: Refrain from aggressive behavior!
Even if you are (perhaps rightly) angry with your child's teacher or generally do not have any particular sympathy for the teacher, all accusations, attacks or accusations are taboo! Keep your emotions in check and be factual. Pressure usually only creates back pressure. A relaxed conversation for the best of your child is hardly possible after such a "challenge".

Tip 4: Show your appreciation - stay friendly!
You can often only reach the really “tough chunks” or emphatically “cool teacher types” in this way: Don't just be friendly, but also bring, in a figurative sense, a whole bouquet of friendliness with you. Appreciate the teacher's work and achievements. This is good for the battered teacher soul and increases the willingness to talk to you. The light that is often thrown across the board by the media on German teachers is usually not particularly good and also promotes the parents' prejudices. Very few teachers pass this by without a trace.

Tip 5: ask about the teacher's point of view!
Therefore, basically check your perspective on your child's teachers and avoid prejudice. For example, if your child describes their behavior in class as being nice and committed, ask the teacher for his or her point of view before you get an idea. Some children actually behave very differently at school - negative as well as positive - than their parents suspect. If your children are incorrigible fighters at home, they may be the best mediators at school. Or if your child is very lively at home, always wants to be the center of attention and likes to draw attention to himself, it may still be that he is very quiet in class and only rarely participates voluntarily.

Tip 6: take on the role of mediator!
In principle, see yourself more as a facilitator in discussions with teachers. So don't take your child's side right away, but don't take the teacher's side irrevocably either. First, listen to both sides of the problem and keep reminding yourself and everyone else that there is a common goal: a student, your child, who is satisfied with their performance and feels comfortable in school.

Tip 7: ask questions and listen!
In order to get an exact impression of your child in the school environment or a comprehensive picture of an existing problem, you should ask the teacher questions. Listen carefully to him answering your questions and don't interrupt him. Make sure you understand it correctly by asking questions and asking questions.

Tip 8: If necessary, prepare yourself in writing!
Sometimes we only remember what exactly we wanted to ask and discuss when we are on our way home again. That's annoying. If you are worried that this could happen to you too, write down everything that is important to you in advance of the interview. Then leave the slip of paper for a day or two, then skim over your questions again and add and possibly arrange them a little.

Tip 9: talk to your child in advance!
If your child has shown willingness to do so, the best preparation for a teacher interview is surely a conversation with your child. Let your child describe the problem from his point of view, research the cause together, look for solutions. Discuss the teacher's possible contribution to solving the problem: How can he help? Where can he clarify? Think about whether your child should take part in the teacher conversation, if so, ask your child if they would like to.

Tip 10: inform the teacher and be honest!
In order to be able to correctly interpret changes in behavior or a decline in performance in your child, teachers sometimes also need information from you.For example, if someone in your family has been ill for a long time, the parents separate or a sibling is born - these and other changes can occur affect their child's performance and behavior. Be honest and do not hide such important information, because this is the only way for teachers to support your child properly.

Tip 11: Look for solutions and measures together!
If your child would like to improve their school performance again, then look for workable solutions and measures together with the teacher. Your child should especially be involved in the development of such suggested solutions. It can only be successful if your child supports these ideas, such as a change of seat, additional tutoring or remedial hours, a "voluntary" presentation, etc.

Tip 12: agree on realistic goals!
Make sure that the goals set can also be achieved. For example, if your child has been the victim of constant teasing, then it would be unrealistic to see your child as the class representative in six months. A realistic goal here would be that your child is no longer annoyed and left alone.

You, the teacher, and your child should also be careful when setting grade goals. Setting goals is important so that the "engine" runs in the right direction, but the target must also be achieved for your child. Superman or Superwoman are not born overnight. Before performance improvements are reflected directly in the grade, large gaps in content often have to be closed and confidence in one's own abilities has to grow again. This will need time. If the grade target is too high, your child will quickly become frustrated and give up even though he is actually on the right track.

Tip 13: make a new appointment!
Once you have come to an agreement with your child's teacher about a solution to the problem, arrange a new appointment at which the effectiveness of the agreement will be checked. So everyone has a time goal to work towards.

Tip 14: If the teacher "blocks", contact the school management!
If you are actually dealing with a completely inaccessible representative of the teaching staff and all of your friendly attempts to talk are met with resistance or idle, then you still have the option of writing a letter to the school management. Again, stay friendly and objective and justify your concerns carefully.