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.
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.
(4) Tell the parents two things you need from them.
(5) Thank the parents for their support.