Parent/Teacher interviews are not easy when you are working with children with learning difficulties. I wish I could predict the future when speaking to parents and I wish I had answers that did not make parents shed tears or show pain in their eyes.
In my interviews, I like to use this format:
- I tell parents what I specifically do when their child is in my class.
- I mention the child’s strengths and areas of progress.
- I mention the areas that the child is experiencing difficulty with.
- The MOST important part of my interview – I let parents know exactly what I am doing to work on number 3.
What do you say to parents when they ask you hopefully, “Will my child ever catch up?” and you know that although the child is making great progress, the chances of him ever being on the same level as his peers are pretty slim. Yes, you can try and get them to focus on the right goal, you can get them to look back and see how far their child has come and yes, you can get them to acknowledge strengths instead of focusing on weaknesses.
But… looking into a parent’s eyes and seeing pain hurts right back. I wish I could tell them that everything will be okay in the end and I wish I knew exactly what to say to take away the pain.
Please let me know if you have the answer…