#143 – Working Sensitively with Parents and Carers – 4 Actionable Strategies

Working "sensitively" with parents and carers.. better check policies and consider how I show up...

What does “sensitively” communicating with parents meant to you?

 Often, the answers I hear or see are thoughts about policy, data security or sensitivity, having hard conversations… all of which are emotionally loaded and tricky.  Especially when we want the choices we are making around sensitivity, the WHY we’re doing that, to have a positive impact for the students (And their children) and their experience at our school.

Standard 7.3 and 3.7 of the Australian Professional Standards for teachers can be tricky as a result! 

We all want to develop better relationships with parents and carers.  These relationships are vital for helping us to improve outcomes for our students.  If you’re a relief teacher or a student teacher on practicum it can often feel like you don’t get much of a chance to exercise your parent/ carer relationship muscles because parent teacher interviews and letters home don’t always take a large part of your job.

Yetm being sensitive to the needs of parents and carers can make a massive difference in the way in which they show at school.   The Education Edowment Foundation’s research evaluation has also shown that i can make as big a difference as a couple of months EXTRA progress for a child too. So, understanding what Sensitively working with parents and carers actually looks like is really important.

Here are Four ways to show sensitivity in a Parent/Carer relationship at school

In this episode of The Reflective Teacher Podcast with Selena Woodward, we’re getting super practical  about the word “sensitive”. This word is used in 7.3.. explicitly in the graduate standard but is a HUGE part of actually having parents engage with you.  This doesn’t have to be just about sensitive data.. This can be about so much more

The research from the EEF showed a few things including:

  • Being sensitive to the commitments that parents are managing outside of school… especially when you ask them to rock up at 7pm
  • Being sensitive to parental experience around school
  •  Being sensitive to negative emotions around needing support and making sure we market things in a way that is inclusive and doesn’t create divide or shame
  • Being sensitive to the fact that are are professional who speak a vey niche language and that can be very intimidating.

We are delving into each of these potential opportunities to build better relationships with your students and hit 7.3 square on

Don’t forget to share the reflections you right with @Edufolios on any social platform you like!  We can’t wait to read them!

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