In a reflection on the first two weeks of school, Fred the Fish of Are We Doing Anything Today? notes that she made some beginning-of-the-year phone calls to the parents of students who had neglected an early assignment. Her husband, she shares, then formulated a helpful taxonomy of parent types:
After describing the calls to my husband he commented that, to him, there appear to be two classes of parents. Those who side with the teacher to support the kid, and those who side with the kid against the teacher. One could argue there is a third group of parents who try to side with the parent [teacher?] against the kid. I had one of each of those calls with the girls ... one parent saying thank you and we'll work on it this weekend, and the other saying she worked really hard and must have fallen asleep.
Not to be discouraged, however, Fred concludes with some constructive tips on the art of the parent phone call:
Parents and the politics of the parent call can be tricky but being prepared and positive (and talking to the parents early in the year, before the kids are having problems!) goes a long way to having a good, constructive relationship with them.