Sunday, January 16, 2011

Note to self - Phone Home

When you think you've tried everything to reach a student, and it hasn't worked... ask yourself whether you've phoned home.

Other strategies that may come in handy:
  • If you've tried asking about alternate interests, and the only one offered is sports, don't despair just because I'm not personally into sports. Delve anyway: Do they play on a team? What position? When did they start? Why did they start? What do they like about it?
  • Potentially useful short-term, when-all-else-fails strategy: bribery.
From this you may deduce that I was trying really hard to help a student who didn't want to be helped on Monday. On Wednesday, I left a message for the student's mom. On Friday, they came in with a little bit of work done and a much better attitude, parroting something mom must have said about taking advantage of the help you're offered. And I gave that student a lollipop and got a solid hour of good focus and thinking in return.

I don't know how this coming week will go, but on Friday I did a little, intermediate victory dance in my head.

For reference, my awesome mentor teacher's recipe for a call home:
(1) Establish that you're on the same team -- you both want the student to succeed in your class.
(2) Tell the parents two things they need to know.
(3) Listen.
(4) Tell the parents two things you need from them.
(5) Thank the parents for their support.


  1. I must have missed this piece of information, but what grade are you teaching? When you took a break from blogging I dropped off, just popped in again today and hey, new posts!

  2. Sixth grade and eighth grade. Yes, there have been a few posts, here and there.