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Upcoming Parent Conference- Nightmare!

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Lanieob Lanieob is offline
 
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Upcoming Parent Conference- Nightmare!
Old 11-03-2018, 04:17 PM
 
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I have parent conferences this week. I have a student this year that is a living nightmare. He is ALWAYS in trouble- getting "bad notes" home constantly, from behavior on the bus, playground, in gym,etc. In the classroom- he is very difficult and exhausting- I keep him within very tight parameters. The VP has called home over an over again. When I called home, mother denied he has any behavioral issues at all. Say what??? When I called his preschool- they said it was a year from hell- that parents denied everything- and that they had recommended this child being fully evaluated before entering K. The parents refused. The preschool director said that the parents were very difficult. And- by the way- he was throwing furniture in preschool- I guess he's come a long way. I am seeing ODD and big time sensory processing issues. It is not fair to the other kids and interferes with other kids' learning. Too much attention is focused on keeping this child in line. This child's mother came in for the Halloween party and said to me on her way out- is he settling down? I just do not want a confrontation at conferences but I have to lay it on the line. This child has sensory issues that may be contributing to his bad behavior and he is used to running the show at home- it is a combo plate. Any ideas on the best way to proceed without WW3 breaking out???


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Old 11-03-2018, 04:34 PM
 
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No advice except to consider having someone else (counselor, P, AP) with you for the conference. Preferable someone who can attest to his problematic behavior. Sometimes it takes "someone else" to let the parents know we're not just out to get their kid.
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:19 PM
 
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I agree - definitely have someone else sit in on the conference! Can your VP do it since he/she has already had contact with the parents?


All you can do is to present the "evidence" - what he does and how it is affecting his learning. The consequences you give and how he responds. How it is affecting his peer relationships. Keep all emotion out of it, even though it's so hard. Not that you think he has sensory issues, etc. Unfortunately they will have to come to those conclusions on their own. I do use the line "this is not typical kindergarten behavior" when parents think everything is normal.



With my super difficult ones I present how their behavior is not allowing them to learn and get the most out of kindergarten. I also let the parents know that the longer the year goes on, the farther behind they will get as the curriculum ramps up.



Good luck. Those conferences are so hard!
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:06 PM
 
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I agree to have someone with you at the conference. The VP sounds like a good idea since it seems like she is familiar with the situation.

I would also recommend starting with strengths- even if you really have to stretch to think of them. This will show parents that you're not just "really negative" or "out to get" their child. After stating the strengths, tell them that you want to discuss the student's behavior and that you are looking forward to working with them to help the child.

As for the behavior, I would present as much data as possible rather than just describing the behavior or using phrases like, "Johnny always..." or "Johnny never..." Make the conversation all about the data. "Yesterday, Johnny interrupted 19 times in a 30 minute lesson." "Johnny has x number of discipline referrals. The biggest number of referrals are for xyz behaviors." You may even want to say, "The average number of referrals for the other students in the class is ___" if parents aren't getting that their child's issues aren't "normal."

I would present academics the same way. This is where Johnny is, and this is where students should be this time of year. If he's below and you really think he'd be capable if the behaviors weren't in the way, I'd say that.
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:42 PM
 
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I would have a copy of his preschool report card so you can say that you want him to have a good year and the behaviors have been occurring for a long time.

Good luck!


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Old 11-04-2018, 06:02 AM
 
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This is my old standby, coupled with "I've taught 200+ Kinders," to add legitimacy to my claim that this ain't typical!

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I do use the line "this is not typical kindergarten behavior" when parents think everything is normal.

Good luck, Lanie. I dread those conferences.
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