Even though the family initiated the conversation, I know it may be hard for them to discuss their concerns. That’s why I make sure to fill the conversation with as many positives as possible. I share stories about their child, like a fun anecdote, or a time they shined in class. This reassures the family by bringing strengths to the conversation and showing how much I know and care about their child.
I also remember to check in with the family during the conversation. I ask questions like, “Do you have any questions about anything I’ve said?” I remind myself that this is a two-way conversation. I remind myself that it’s a conversation, not a report card.
—Brian Smith, MA, is a kindergarten teacher in Claremont, North Carolina.