What’s That One Thing We Can Do? (Continued)

Annette Clarahan, Parent Educator Coordinator

MR / College Park, Maryland Center for Young Children, laboratory school within the College of Education at the University of Maryland. Full day developmental program of early childhood education for children of faculty, staff, and students at the university. Parent  who also volunteers at the school, has meeting with her child's teacher. They are reviewing some of his class work. MR: Cas8 Wri4 © Ellen B. Senisi

Imagine being in a meeting with two people who were discussing a topic you knew nothing about. Do you think sometimes we have parents who feel like this at school meetings when we talk about test scores or use acronyms?

Think about successful school meetings with a parent, such as a conference or an IEP meeting. What happens in those meetings? Are parents asking questions? Is there a relationship between home and school? Are school and AEA staff doing That One Thing?  Was there a personal attempt to get mom or dad there?

Now think about those difficult meetings that were successful. What happened in those meetings that attributed to a positive outcome? What’s That One Thing? Did it feel more like a conversation than a routine meeting? Were parents engaged or were they spectators? Were test scores explained to the parents at a level they could understand? Were acronyms used? Did the pace of the meeting slow down?

We’ve all heard the saying “Kids do well when they can!” I believe this applies to parents as well. What’s That One Thing We Can Do?

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