Tips for working with difficult parents
I have added this section because I am turning into a teacher's nightmare!!
- I remember my first parents’ evening. I was really nervous, even more when I had to talk about the report card. It was my first experience in leading a class and I thought the parents will not accept me as their children‘s teacher. The opposite happened! After this first parents‘ evening I reflected a lot about it. I wanted to know why it was a successful meeting. I think my evaluation plan was transparent from the beginning. I told them my method to have a mark in the report card at the end. Our school does the same. Every term we have eight marks (two speaking, two writing, two listening and two reading) . Here and there I have the pupils made some posters, presentations…Transparency to the children and parents is very important.
Unfortunately, there is no avoiding the irrational difficult parent!
How are you collecting information?
Here is an example of a formal performance assessment. Each child read a book and had to WRITE a review (accuracy and range); READ it to us without notes (fluency); and comment on each other's presentations (LISTENING) by asking questions that showed they were listening.
Vocabulary translation tests?
- Should NOT be used for report card information if they are to be used at all.
- They measure what learners might know (if that) but not what they can DO in a language.
- They test a child's knowledge of the local language of instruction (in our case, German). Thus a child might understand the English word but might simply not know the German word.
- They are not writing tests - writing tests measure accuracy, range and task fulfillment (among other criteria); vocab translation tests do not.
- If you are using them, are you teaching children memorization strategies?