Today I am going to pick on the administration. I feel the bristling of the feathers already, but I hope to at least open your mind. I am speaking generally but the school administration should be flexible. Why? Because these are children and they are all individuals and they all have different backgrounds and different needs and different personalities, and we haven’t even touched on the parents and their differences. I think that the administration should try practicing this old sales technique, sometimes.
In the technique you can never use the word “no”. In the situation the parent is the customer. Sometimes the customer asks and/or demands things that simply cannot be accomplished. But once we say “NO” an adversarial relationship is created and that may last forever. I say forever because I talk to parents who have children that are now adults, but they are still holding a grudge against the school system for not accommodating the Parent in the way they felt the school should.
OPTIONS AND SOLUTIONS.
There is always a solution. Offer the solution and explain why this solution is being offered and why. (Oh, by the way, sometimes the administration is wrong. I know the administration has many degrees, never underestimate the power of parents’ knowledge of their child.)
Parents spend a lot of time with their children. The parent usually has a good idea of what their student will respond to well and what they have observed the student not respond to. Sometimes the administration can be caught up with getting the deed done. They tend to dismiss what the parent is saying. Admit it! Sometimes the administration stereotypes (I feel the bristling happening all over again). But are we not human? If we can admit that sometimes we are human and everything we are doing isn’t right, then we can fix it. If we refuse to ever admit that we made a mistake we are doomed to repeat the same thing over and over again, no matter what the result are (some people refer to this as insanity). Also, the more you listen to the parent, the more cooperative and involved the parent becomes, ultimately creating less of an adversarial relationship and more of a partnership.
Hey Administration!!! When you start reading procedure right out of the handbook, parents’ eyes just glaze over. It’s just legalese gibberish and it creates the image that you are hiding behind a handbook and that you are not really interested in helping their child.
Now, I have often heard the administration say that they simply do not have time for all of this, that there are many students they need to help. My response has always been: if what you are doing isn’t working and the student is still problematic, how much time are you spending on the problem now versus if you had been Proactive?