As a school counselor and parent educator since 2008, I have seen well-intentioned parents overstep their boundaries with teachers at all grade levels. Nowhere is this more evident than in a preschool or kindergarten level class. Our protective instincts as parents can sometimes override our tactfulness when working with teachers of our children, after all who knows them better than mom and dad?
As a teacher the best thing to do for all parents is to have a solid marketing plan for what goes on in the classroom. I have seen great teachers using Evernote and creating portfolios for the children to show parents via the Internet. Use your phone to take videos and photos and post them to the class Google group or whatever tool you might have at your future schools. Parents don’t have to come in to see what the children are doing. Having that weekly newsletter to show off your teaching and the student learning can make a parent feel safe.
If a parent is being a gossip or spreading negativity, you can talk to the room parent or even set up a parent meeting to establish ground rules for communication between parent and school as well as parent to parent. Have a group or forum so that the other parents can aid you in keeping negativity away from your teaching.
Like the Godfather movie quote says, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. If you must, make the trouble parent an aid in the class, then they can see the work you do for all the children, and they might change their attitude.
This article was for Rasmussen College Education blog
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