It’s Not Rocket Science: The Art of Planning Good Meetings between Home and School Teams
You may think I am nuts, but, it’s true. Parents, me included, make it harder than it has to be. I am talking about home and school team meetings. We think that it, like science, is complicated. In reality it is really an art.
As much as parents want to complain about the school and the personnel involved, they have the power to build strong relationships to advance their child’s education. Like an artist, there is not a right or wrong way. You can craft your own approach.
Quite simply – it’s not rocket science. It’s about getting people to work together. The parent is the creator of this effort.
Now this may strike a chord with some who may respond, “Ridiculous!” The truth is that advocating for your child makes good business sense. Even if you are not a business person there is plenty of research that demonstrates the most successful people in the world do one thing well – they get others to come together.
I know all too well that whether or not you have graduated from a Dale Carnegie seminar (“How to Win Friends & Influence People” or “Step-up to Leadership”) it’s a different game when your child is involved. As someone whose previous career was in business, my ability to be persuasive and build interpersonal relationships was severely hindered when it related to our son. Remaining calm and collected was almost impossible. All I felt like doing was unloading my heart – yelling and screaming. Bottom line – unleashing your emotions accomplishes nothing for the long haul.
These statements are based on my experiences during the past 7 years as a parent. I set up meetings for the obvious reasons: to update an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), review summer school placement or to simply touch base.
So here is the truth. You, the parent, have work to do to prepare before meetings that involve the entire team. To build successful collaborative partnerships you have to invest some time and park your emotions. Yes, it is a full-time job, but it’s your responsibility. Only you can make the change to “win friends and influence people” for the benefit of your child’s future.
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