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Does anyone else get really bad anxiety when you're about to call parents? I suck it up and call anyway because that's just a part of my job but I would like to know how to make the anxiety go away.

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My first year I used to get so anxious!!! I used to write out a list of all the things I wanted to discuss - and made sure I always included a few positives if I was calling to discuss behavior! The only thing that made me less anxious was time! Also if I call parents at the beginning of the year to tell them something positive about their child and build a rapport it makes that phone call later in the year to discuss behaviors wayyyyyyyyy better! I bet you could do that now! Something like "since we've been back from winter break you child has done awesome with x, y, and z!" It might make those tough phone calls later in the year a little easier if they already know you've found positive things about their child!

likesmartfunny

After 25 years I still get anxious and feel awkward. I always try and make a positive contact with the parents first. I know it’s hard especially with our work load- but it helps. If you have not - just be yourself. When you talk to them ask if they have a few minutes and let them know that you have a concern... but always have a way to solve it- and always have a positive to add. J hasn’t been turning his work this week. Has he or you had an unusually busy week this week? Can he stay next Tuesday after school with me to work on it? Or can you help him at home with it? Can you bring him 30 minutes before school so we can work on it? I also just want to say he has been doing really well on working with his group this past week. He has really been communicating and getting along with his classmates.....

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I cannot stand calling parents. It's a dread for me. I never really know what to say and how to say it. 9 times out of 10 it goes well, the parent is friendly and understanding, and I hang up feeling good! 👍🏾😊

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Just like when I have to talk to a kid about something negative, I try to create a positive sandwich. "Kid is really improving their X," and include a recent detail. "Unfortunately, they're also having problem Y." Explain with detail and documentation. Then leave the call on a hopeful note.

I still get anxious about the call, but less so because I don't spend time running over the negative part of the call in my head.

likesmarthelpfulfunny

Make a quick positive call to a different parent first, always start with a positive for the negative call, ALWAYS document ALL calls. 👍🏼 You got this!! 🙂

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I always start by asking if the student has spoken to them about my course and if they have received communication through the standard channels of my district. Grades and attendance type stuff.

Gives me a gauge of their interest and involvement.
Layout a plan to move forward, end with an actionable item.

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This year I don't call, just email, because I am teaching from home and don't want parents to have my personal number as a precaution. But, during regular times I would try to write down what I wanted to communicate and organize my thoughts into concerns and make the call as focused as possible on supporting the student in making a positive change.

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Google Voice gives you a different phone number which is nice. What I really like about Google voice is that it documents the phone calls so you have a running log of phone calls you’ve made with parents. You can also use it to text parents and many times parents will respond to text quicker than phone calls. I hope this helps!

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Sometimes a nice lead in why you are calling. Gives them a chance to talk with you. Sometimes the listening will create the conversation. It was always my policy if someone found it the opportunity to register in an inappropriate manner I just said "I can see you're are upset and let's reschedule at another time" I always logged calls in case the conversation parent went to another level. Breathe, calm. Not easy. Mix in lots of specific praise calls.

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Nahhh .... remember who you are calling has ONE of the hardest jobs in the world....so treat them as if they just came back from war and need words of support as you inform them the current situation of the world.... it not easy but no 1 better to do it than a caring teacher such as yourself

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I have found that calling or both successes and failures it makes conversations easier. Then it is easier to build a rapport with the parent/guardian.

For the tough conversations I practice what I am going to say and write down answers to potential questions/concerns might come up. Sounds goofy but it helps me feel more confident in making phone calls.

I know there are going to be exceptions.

Yes, I do too, but after getting to know them better it diminishes. You are not alone.

I don’t get too nervous but I always put myself in the parents’ shoes first. They are going to see on their cell phone that this is a phone call from the school and there stomach will drop. Is there an emergency? Is my kid in trouble again? At our school we try to have some positive calls/notes go home and this helps. Just put a smile on your face and ease their fears when they first pick up the phone.

I feel anxious leading up to any phone call outside my family and close friends in any context, so yes. It has gotten easier with time, but also I find that if I batch as many calls as possible together I can sort of coast on the momentum of the prior call on later ones and that helps.

Become more comfortable speaking to parents by making positive call to parents first. It will have the added benefit of lending credence to the calls asking for parent support with negative student behaviors. I also try to start my calls to parents with something positive about their student if I can, “ You know, Jennie is really adept at.... I would really appreciate your support with this .....though....

Write down the following information:
Parent’s name
Student’s name
Positive student behavior
Negative student behavior
Reason for the call
List of things to talk about

Then you’ll feel prepared and have an agenda to make sure you keep the conversation on track. ❤️

Me! I think it stems from the fact less parents are supporting teachers and get angry you are even calling about their child.

no, its usually their fault I have to call them.

Yes.

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